Guiding Light facility loaned to Kent County to be isolation center for homeless

Guiding Light building..jpeg
Posted at 11:22 AM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 00:50:18-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A center for homeless services is vacating a site in the Heartside neighborhood south of downtown Grand Rapids for use by Kent County as an isolation center for homeless people who come down with COVID-19.

Guiding Light will withdraw from 255. S. Division Avenue on Saturday, Mar. 28, to let the Kent County Health Department transform the space into a place to care for any homeless individuals who contract the coronavirus.

The donation will provide enough private rooms, bathrooms, kitchen, bunk area and chapel that can handle at least 60 people, plus 20 parking spaces.

“The population in our densely populated Heartside district is at high risk for exposure to COVID-19,” said Guiding Light executive director Stuart P. Ray in a release. He noted that the homeless population has no access to basic sanitation and has trouble with social distancing, in addition to compromised immune systems and issues with subtance abuse and mental health.

“The Kent County Health Department would not be equipped to address such a crisis if it weren’t for the community partners who have stepped up and offered help in amazing and creative ways,” said Adam London, administrative health officer at the Kent County Health Department.