Exodus Place adds new comfort dog

Posted at 5:15 AM, Oct 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-28 05:15:35-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A West Michigan non-profit dedicated to helping anyone facing hardship has added a new member to its fleet.

Exodus Place in Grand Rapids has been helping give people a second chance at life and now, those living there will be doing it alongside a furry friend.

"Buddy is our little comfort dog," said David Grinnewald,  who works the front desk at Exodus Place. "He’s just been a bundle of joy since we got him. Everybody loves him. Brings out the best in everybody."

The non-profit has helped veterans, former prisoners, addicts and even the homeless get their life back together and even find housing.

"We just noticed that one of the things that was needed here at Exodus Place was that sense of companionship and that everybody needs a Buddy in their life," said Nelson Koon, Acting Executive Director of Exodus Place.

Grinnewald is one of the many men who come to Exodus Place for help finding housing.

"I just checked in somebody yesterday and they were like, they couldn’t believe this place existed. They wish they’d known about it a long time ago," he said.

Buddy, a young beagle, has been with members for the last two months and already is running the roost.

"Everybody love Buddy. Buddy runs the place, that’s our big joke, like he should be on our website as president, founder, and CEO because Buddy is loved here and very much well taken care of here by the men," Nelson said.

"You can’t help but talk baby talk to him. People now they used to walk by the desk, would hardly say anything. Now they come by the desk just to talk to him." Grinnewald said. "We brought him in here to really teach the members of Exodus place about life, responsibility, routine, and bout love, acceptance, and forgiveness," he said.

Teaching lessons but buddy's also giving everyone something in return.

"It’s not just a handout of companionship and that’s what Exodus Place stands for. It’s hand up, not a handout.," Nelson said.

If you or someone you know are interested in Exodus Place, click here.