Access of West Michigan began in 1981 in response to federal government cutbacks for social services programs. A group of faith-based and community leaders recognized the need for central coordination of services in order to prevent duplication and maximize resources.
There are over 300 Kent County congregations working with Access of West Michigan to meet needs in our community. Access plays a unique and important role in this community by linking those in need with others who can help.
Celebrating the activity of God in our midst, the mission of Access is to be a faith-based leader in linking congregational, individual, and community resources to eliminate hunger and reduce the impact of poverty in Kent County.
How we live our mission today:
Today we bring many programs and services to the table. But most of all, we provide a place for the community to act–for those with resources and talents to interact and problem solve with the big issues of poverty and people in need. Our services fall under three initiatives:
- Hunger Response: Working to eliminate hunger in the community. This includes coordinating the Access Pantry Network, food drives, Holiday Giving Network, Hunger Walk, FAP Outreach, and more.
- Congregation Connections: Helping congregations effectively respond to human needs in the community. This includes Congregation Casework Assistance, workshops, and more.
- Poverty Education: Educating the community on the realities of poverty and how to respond. This includes Poverty Simulations, education & advocacy, and more.