Our History

People in a board room

The First Twelve Months

In May 2018 concerned community stakeholders asked KConnect to bring people together to examine how the housing system is working, establish shared goals, and develop collaborative strategies to reach those goals with a focus on children, families, youth, and people of color. KConnect initiated its work in Fall 2018 and began a yearlong process to convene organizations, funders, and other stakeholders within the housing and homeless system.

The Work Moving Forward

We promised to deliver a common agenda and roadmap to create and sustain a movement that builds systems between sectors and empowers lived experience to dissolve housing instability and homelessness for children and families from the landscape of Kent County. That work was completed in August 2020. It is our goal to continue to build on the movement that is already underway, and to center lived experience around this system-change strategy.
People signing a document

Launching the Backbone

Within the Common Agenda and Roadmap a five-part approach was developed. One section of the framework focused on the creation of a backbone organization to lead the work, collect and analyze data, convene partners, and operationalize the Common Agenda and Roadmap.

The Housing Stability Alliance and Action Teams are Created

Our movement was reorganized as the Housing Stability Alliance. The new organization included members from the first phase of work – the Design, Content, Context, Scout, and Communications Teams – and a new cross-sector of stakeholders.

CivicLab, a national institute dedicated to advancing the practice of civic and community collaboration, was brought into the work to train the Alliance on the critical elements of systems change. KConnect created a public, private, and philanthropic chair leadership team that includes: Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, City of Grand Rapids; Mandy Bolter, Chair, Kent County Commission; Lynne Ferrell, Program Director, Frey Foundation; Christina Keller, President, and CEO, Cascade Engineering.

Housing Stability Alliance formed Action Teams around critical components of the Common Agenda and Roadmap. The teams developed content outside of the monthly Housing Stability Alliance meetings. They brought it back to the larger group monthly for affirmation and feedback.

The Community Plan

Please visit the link below to learn more about the Housing Stability Alliance and to read the Common Agenda and Roadmap entitled “Redefining the Path Home: System Building for Housing Stability in Kent County”.