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Habitat Kent Blog

Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Kent County brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.

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The Beer City Saxophone Ensemble played a concert this holiday season to benefit Habitat Kent. I sat down with one of the bandleaders of the group, Gary McCourry. He shares his Habitat story that began in New York City and has flourished in West Michigan. Music can be a platform for powerful change in the simple and big ways. 


change in the simple and big ways. 
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I sat down with Habitat Kent homebuyer Steve Jones who is on the finishing end of the homeownership program. Steve shares his story on how going through the homeownership program changed his family and his own personal life. He talks about sweat equity and how giving to Habitat Kent has a powerful return on investment. 


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Carl has been a part of the ReStore family since its beginning. Hear how he helped build the first ReStore in Kent County and why he loves working with the ReStore donors and customers. Pictured below is a greenhouse made from materials purchased at ReStore South in Wyoming. The customer dropped off this photo to Carl after they talked about what project the materials were being used for. 


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     I pulled up to the construction site ready to perform my usual routine of taking pictures. I talked  to Jason the site supervisor for a bit and spotted a volunteer I’d never seen before. 

     “You don’t know Fred?” Exclaimed Jason. “You’ve got to meet him, Fred come over here!” 

     It didn’t take long to realize why Jason insisted I have a conversation with Fred Johnson. His soft, kind, personality was wise and easy to converse with. He’s currently studying at Western Theological Seminary and while most of his colleagues serve at churches, he chose Habitat Kent. 

     “Why Habitat?” I thought. Since Fred was busy volunteering I set up a time to meet with Fred offsite and hear more of his story. 

     FredQuoteFred has helped within many departments at Habitat Kent. Some Fred sightings have included (but are not limited to): pounding nails on site, typing data into a computer, or organizing supplies at the warehouse. Fred experienced jobs in various fields, circumstances that tested him, and cultures that changed him. 

     Before our dialogue we were mere acquaintances, and it surprised me how much he was willing to share. It reminds me of one of my co-worker’s closing quotes on her e-mails which states, “Being perfect is not what connects people. Vulnerability brings us closer together.” Vulnerability, humility, honesty, and genuine are some words I could use to describe Fred.

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Hear the story of Ignace and his journey from Mozambique to Grand Rapids. Together with his wife and four daughters he was able to apply to the Habitat Kent homeownership program, complete his 325 hours of sweat equity, and build a home for his family. The Karageyas new home at 1045 Dorchester Ave. will be dedicated on Tuesday July 21st. 



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     Growing up in Tijuana, Mexico as a missionary's son helped prepare Danny Geurink in the business of building hope for people in need. Listen to Danny, the construction program manager at Habitat Kent, discuss the importance of green building practices as well as the innovation of Habitat Kent construction. 

     Welcome to Beyond the Home. Habitat for Humanity of Kent County’s look into the people, places, events, and stories that brings us together to build homes, communities, and hope.


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425 Pleasant Street SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503