A map is the greatest of all epic poems. Its lines and colors show the realization of great dreams. – Gilbert Grosvenor

Where’s your home on the map? No matter where you’re located, our neighborhoods are marked by familiar streets, stores, schools, and parks. We create community through shared experiences with our neighbors.

As the map shows, West Michigan is a place of beauty and opportunity! We celebrate the many stories of restoration, investment, and housing justice that are made possible by people just like you.

This Advent calendar highlights current ICCF homes in the greater Grand Rapids area. With your help, we are creating more equitable housing opportunities to create thriving neighborhoods.

Donate to help us bring more homes to our city at at iccf.org/donate. Thank you for joining with us to provide the gift of home to our neighbors.

Sunday, December 25

Merry Christmas! Thank you for joining us this Advent season for #thegiftofhome. We are so grateful to all the partners, volunteers, donors, and neighbors who shared their stories.

We want to leave you with one more positive story today, from new homeowner Shanna. In 2017, Shanna got connected with ICCF’s Family Self Sufficiency program, which empowers individuals to move towards economic independence. She started increasing her income through a good-paying job and learned all about the home buying process through our Introduction to Homeownership class.

Next, Shanna’s ICCF housing counselor Nichole introduced her to our Individual Development Account program, which is a matched savings account where the money is used towards the purchase of a home.

Earlier this year, Shanna signed on to purchase a beautiful five-bedroom, single family home in her budget. The extra rooms will be perfect for her three children and her niece and nephew, for whom she is pursuing adoption. That is truly #thegiftofhome!

May you experience all the gifts of warmth, peace, and joy today in your home.

Saturday, December 24

This gorgeous single-family home was painstakingly renovated by volunteers with a new kitchen and bathrooms, all new paint from top to bottom, refinished woodwork, and fresh landscaping. We love the bright exterior and look forward to sharing #thegiftofhome with another family in this new home!

Friday, December 23

Steepleview North and South are two newer multifamily developments on the east side of town. These beautiful apartment buildings are also mixed-use with live/work opportunities. We love to see neighbors gathering for events with their community connector staff!

Thursday, December 22

It was a “home run” for affordable housing at this year’s Home Base Giving Club appreciation event. Home Base is a special group of donors who have committed to giving to ICCF each month. This is a convenient, dependable way to support ICCF. We invite you to learn more and join at iccf.org/home-base.

Wednesday, December 21

Meet Ricardo! His homeownership journey began with a conversation at ICCF. This year Ricardo achieved his homeownership goals and moved into a beautiful new home. Congratulations, Ricardo!

Tuesday, December 20

These beautiful, newly-built homes are located in Cedar Springs. ICCF took advantage of the opportunity to create affordable homeownership opportunities on a vacant plot of land, and all three houses are now home to families.

Monday, December 19

This beautiful home was renovated as part of the Community Homes Initiative (CHI). The CHI began with the purchase of 213 housing units in 2017, something unprecedented in ICCF’s long history. We’ve since added dozens of additional CHI homes to create more housing opportunities for our neighbors.

Sunday, December 18

This newly constructed home in the Baxter neighborhood was made possible by a partnership with BDR Custom Homes. It is an energy-efficient single-family residence that is part of ICCF’s Community Homes Land Trust, ensuring it will remain affordable for years to come.

Saturday, December 17

We have wonderful memories of a room full of sunshine and joy at this year’s ICCF Homes & Hope Legacy Society Luncheon. It was a special opportunity to express ICCF’s gratitude to faithful donors who have included a legacy contribution to ICCF in their estate plans. These guests have truly given #thegiftofhome through ICCF!

Friday, December 16

Estephany and JoséAndrés became homeowners this year! Please join us in congratulating them on #thegiftofhome as they put down roots in their new neighborhood. You can support neighbors just like Estephany and JoséAndrés by donating today.

Thursday, December 15

Our mixed-use, mixed-income housing development at 435 LaGrave is a thriving apartment building close to downtown Grand Rapids. It’s also special because it provides a home to several youth who have aged out of foster care. The three-story building includes commercial space and 24 units of housing.

Wednesday, December 14

We love celebrating donors and volunteers every year at our Summer Soirée! Today, we invite you to join this team of supporters by giving #thegiftofhome. Your financial gift supports equitable opportunity and affordable homes for our neighbors, ultimately creating thriving communities. Thank you!

Tuesday, December 13

Family Haven is a special place where families experiencing homelessness can stay together while pursuing stable housing. We have 6 units of private housing at Family Haven, along with practical resources like supplemental groceries and toiletries. The ICCF staff comes alongside families during their stay at Family Haven to identify the barriers that lead to homelessness, while also helping them secure permanent housing, employment, transportation, and educational opportunities.

Monday, December 12

We’re halfway through the season of Advent! Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelvin, one of our community connectors. He works and lives in the apartments at 435 LaGrave. Kelvin helps residents get connected to community resources, meet their neighbors, and learn more about homeownership opportunities. Thank you for giving #thegiftofhome, Kelvin!

Sunday, December 11

Meet Iman! She is a new homeowner who took part in housing counseling through ICCF. When she was close to being ready to purchase her own home, Iman received a precious gift from her late father. After decades of owning his own home, which he originally purchased through ICCF, her father had paid off the entire mortgage and made arrangements to leave the family home to Iman. What a beautiful legacy!

Saturday, December 10

Here’s our home at 415 Franklin! Did you know that this building is more than just ICCF offices? We’re proud to share the space with Madison Church: Franklin Campus, an early childhood learning center, and 40 units of housing. Mixed-use spaces create a place of thriving community!

Friday, December 9

We had the pleasure of hosting new homeowners at a special celebration! These attendees have achieved their homeownership goals by working hard to take our courses like Introduction to Homeownership, meet with a housing counselor, take advantage of supportive programs, and of course work on their own credit score and savings.

Thursday, December 8

This home has been undergoing a dramatic transformation, thanks to numerous volunteers and partners. After taking the interior down to the studs, teams have been working to install new electrical, plumbing, and heating; refresh paint and trim; and care for the home exterior and landscaping. We can’t wait to see this one finished and share #thegiftofhome with another family.

Wednesday, December 7

We’re proud that many of our renovated homes have been GreenStar certified. GreenStar Certification has 5 pillars: energy efficiency, health & indoor air quality, building materials, water conservation, and place/connectivity. 24 ICCF homes have been certified through the program, and 156 homes have been improved to address GreenStar program targets. That’s #thegiftofhome that keeps on giving!

Tuesday, December 6

Jacob left his childhood home when he was just eight years old to escape the civil war that was ravaging his country. In Grand Rapids, the folks at Orchard Hill Church connected Jacob with ICCF for affordable housing opportunities. Jacob ended up purchasing a home that Orchard Hill had renovated!

Monday, December 5

It’s our newest development, The Southgate! Upon completion, this beautiful facility will contain 56 units of housing for senior neighbors near the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. The Southgate also contains a fitness center, library, community center, onsite leasing office and conference room, and an outdoor lounge area.

Sunday, December 4

These hard workers are from ProjectGR, a group volunteer effort from three Eastern Orthodox parishes in Grand Rapids. Over 70 volunteers renovated two houses and painted a third house this summer!

“We believe we exist to seek and share Christ’s love and create beauty in a disfigured world,” said organizer Greg Storey. “We are so grateful for ICCF Community Homes and their incredible work to enable this mission!”

Saturday, December 3

Today’s Advent highlight is a neighborhood outreach event at our community center. Neighbors were invited to receive free backpacks stuffed with school supplies, giveaways, hair braiding for children, and information on a youth empowerment program.

Resources like these help support our mission to create “thriving neighborhoods” in our community!

Friday, December 2

Let us introduce you to Ken and Donna. As members of the ICCF Homes & Hope Legacy Society, they plan to support housing equity for the long-term.

“We have long supported ICCF financially and with Ken’s volunteer carpentry,” they said. “Knowing our gifts stay in our locale and are managed by a Christian organization is important to us, as is getting to know the ICCF staff through personal contact. We have chosen to make ICCF part of our legacy so this work will go on after God chooses to call us home.”

Thank you, Ken & Donna!

Thursday, December 1

It’s the first day of Advent! Join us as we explore #thegiftofhome through stories from our neighborhood. First up is Devetta!

Devetta’s goal was to purchase her own home. She met with a housing counselor at ICCF to discuss barriers to homeownership, like financial savings and credit history. After a lot of hard work, Devetta was able to purchase a home through our Community Homes Land Trust. The land trust ensures that the home will provide another affordable homeownership opportunity in the future. Congratulations, Devetta!

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