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Guiding Light to Host a Virtual Ministry Update Aug. 19

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Guiding Light will host a virtual Ministry Update at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 19 on its Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

About Guiding Light

Founded in 1929 as the West Fulton St. Mission, Guiding Light has grown into a robust recovery and re-engagement community designed to help those living at society’s margins fulfill their God-given potential. The nonprofit has been building on a near century of compassion and celebrated 90 years of serving Grand Rapids in 2019. Through its Back to Work, Recovery and Iron House programs, Guiding Light works with men struggling with addiction and homelessness to return to society. Since 2017, Guiding Light has earned a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, which underscores our commitment to accountability and transparency. For more information, visit

/Guiding Light

Guiding Light will host a virtual Ministry Update on Wednesday, Aug. 19 to share how it has continued its rescue, recovery and re-engagement programming and restarted intake. 

The Grand Rapids-based nonprofit will begin the virtual event at 6 p.m. on its Facebook and LinkedIn pages to share the latest about its operations and needs. In light of restrictions over gatherings due to COVID-19, Guiding Light opted to shift its traditional ministry update luncheons to an online format.

The community is invited to tune in to hear from Development Director Starla McDermott and Guiding Light Recovery Intake Manager and COVID-19 Facilitator Craig Wassenaar, who will discuss the nonprofit’s recent successes and new challenges that have resulted from the pandemic. 

Viewers will also hear from Jimmy, a former Guiding Light Recovery client who recently moved out of Iron House, Guiding Light’s own sober-living apartments. Jimmy will share his story of recovery and re-engagement, as well as gratitude for the donors who make Guiding Light’s comprehensive programming possible. 

“Given the changing circumstances of the pandemic, Guiding Light continues to be nimble in order to best support the vulnerable population in Heartside through rescue, recovery and re-engagement,” Executive Director Stuart P. Ray said. “We continue to need community support to ensure Grand Rapids men who are lost, homeless or recovering from addiction have the essentials – shelter, food, faith and hope – while fulfilling their God-given potential.” 

Over the last decade, Guiding Light has transformed from a traditional homeless shelter to a recovery and re-engagement community with four main programs – Recovery, Back to Work, The Job Post and Iron House.  

In March, Guiding Light voluntarily loaned its facility at 255 S. Division Ave. to the Kent County Health Department so it could serve as a temporary isolation center for those experiencing homelessness in the Heartside community who may contract COVID-19.  

At that time, Guiding Light took programming off-site, adopted video conferencing tools and paused the intake process. Now, men in the programs have since returned to Guiding Light’s downtown headquarters and the organization has restarted intake with several new safety precautions in place. 

For more information, visit or contact McDermott at [email protected] to make a donation.

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