This Advent

Give the Gift of Home


The Game of LIFE in the Real World

Each person’s life takes twists and turns, just like that board game we played as kids, “The Game of LIFE.” Safe, stable, and affordable housing can be one of life’s biggest challenges. This Advent calendar highlights specific barriers that can lead to housing instability or keep first time homebuyers from reaching their goal. Their journey to find a place to call home is not a game, but a real life experience.

We count it a privilege to walk alongside neighbors, like Claudia, wherever they are on the board. From sheltering families experiencing homelessness to providing financial literacy classes and building affordable homes, we provide tools to help people reach their housing goals. Walk with us and meet the people, spaces, and solutions that help families find their way to “home.”

Day 25’s Challenge

No Place to Call Home

For 50 years, ICCF Community Homes has pursued equitable opportunity, affordable homes, and thriving neighborhoods. Thank you for helping us give the gift of home to neighbors this Advent season!

Day 24’s Challenge


Church or business not invested in neighborhood wellbeing

How We Help

A variety of volunteer opportunities allows local businesses, churches, and organizations to learn about and show love to their community.

Day 23’s Challenge

Long Waiting Lists

Few quick options for shelter or affordable housing

How We Help

Programs like Rapid Rehousing provide quick relief to families experiencing a housing crisis and connect neighbors to local resources.

Day 22’s Challenge


The housing crisis feels too big to fix

How We Help

The saying “many hands make light work” comes to life as we enlist the help of hundreds of volunteers to help beautify, maintain, and build affordable homes.

Day 21’s Challenge

Remote Landlords

Leading to poor rental conditions

How We Help

With the Community Homes Initiative and other purchases, we actively reclaim homes from out-of-state investors and provide local, engaged management.

Day 20’s Challenge

Chronic Homelessness

Long-term effects, discouragement

How We Help

Programs like Permanent Supportive Housing walk alongside families to help counteract the long-term effects of chronic homelessness and reach stable housing.

Day 19’s Challenge

Vacant Lots

Few livable houses

How We Help

We utilize formerly vacant spaces to create more housing opportunities with homes that complement the existing neighborhood.

Day 18’s Challenge

Huge Closing Costs

Home down payment is too costly

How We Help

Qualifying homebuyers can take advantage of resources like our match savings program so that closing costs are not a barrier to homeownership.

Day 17’s Challenge

No Generational Wealth

Inequitable wealth transfer over generations

How We Help

By assisting first-time homebuyers, we help change family trees and unlock the power of generational wealth as homes are passed down.

Day 16’s Challenge

Lack of Support

Housing stability is only one issue of many

How We Help

Recognizing that housing instability is only one of many challenges that people may face, we connect neighbors to local resources for assistance with food, clothing, utilities, transportation, and more.

Day 15’s Challenge

Cheap Housing

Poor construction doesn’t reflect resident’s dignity

How We Help

With beauty as a core value, we renovate and construct homes that reflect the dignity of the residents inside them.

Day 14’s Challenge


Historic inequity excludes homeowners of color

How We Help

Acknowledging the long-lasting effects of historic and current inequity, we provide practical resources like one-on-one counseling to help neighbors achieve their housing goals.

Day 13’s Challenge

High Utility Bills

Inefficient rentals result in high utility bills

How We Help

We pursue energy-efficient features & design to support the environment and create lower costs for residents; many of our homes receive the GreenStar Energy Certification, seen here.

Day 12’s Challenge

No Guidance

Low financial literacy

How We Help

Programs like Family Self-Sufficiency increase financial literacy among neighbors and provide practical tools to help them succeed.

Day 11’s Challenge

Lack of Inventory

15,000 affordable housing units needed

How We Help

Through renovations and ground-up construction projects, like The Southgate seen here, we’re helping create new, affordable housing opportunities to meet the need of 15,000 units in Kent County by 2027.

Day 10’s Challenge

Cut Off

Neighbors disconnected from support

How We Help

In our multifamily homes, Community Connectors engage with and regularly host events for residents.

Day 9’s Challenge


Housing instability stereotypes

How We Help

Through community events, speaking engagements, and advocacy, we aim to help our community better understand and destigmatize housing instability.

Day 8’s Challenge

Wages Can’t Keep Up

Home price increases have exceeded wages

How We Help

The Community Homes Land Trust provides affordable homeownership opportunities that benefit multiple future owners through the land trust model.

Day 7’s Challenge

No Support System

Young adults aging out of foster care without support

How We Help

Several of our multifamily homes contain units designed for youth aging out of foster care and include support from partner organizations and a resident Community Connector.

Day 6’s Challenge

Too Complicated

Homebuying is complex

How We Help

Classes like Introduction to Homeownership help first-time homebuyers understand and prepare for the homebuying process.

Day 5’s Challenge

Rising Building Costs

Limited supply of affordable housing

How We Help

We’re grateful for the many businesses who support our renovation or construction projects with gifts of materials or skilled labor.

Day 4’s Challenge

Low Credit Score

Poor credit history limits options

How We Help

Rent reporting is a tool that helps neighbors build their credit score through highlighting their regular rent payments.

Day 3’s Challenge

Not Accessible

Limited accommodations for disabilities

How We Help

The inclusion of accessible units in our multifamily homes is a priority. We love the community our Emerald Flats residents have helped create.

Day 2’s Challenge


Too far from school, work, church, or network

How We Help

By focusing our efforts on core West Michigan neighborhoods, we help neighbors stay rooted in their community.

Day 1’s Challenge

Sudden Emergency

Job loss or sickness can lead to homelessness

How We Help

Our six-unit emergency shelter, Family Haven, allows entire families to stay together in independent accommodations while pursuing stable housing.

Give the Gift of Home

Your financial support helps neighbors successfully navigate LIFE’s challenges and find a safe place to call home. Thank you for your gift to ICCF Community Homes!

Stay Up To Date

Positive stories delivered straight to your inbox. Join our e-newsletter.