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Things We’re Thankful For – Interview with A.Y.A Youth Collective & Home Repair Services

Things We’re Thankful For – Interview with A.Y.A Youth Collective CEO Lauren VanKeulen on At Home with Eastbrook Homes | Eastbrook Homes

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, we would like to thank all of the wonderful Taste and Tour 2020 non-profit partners and commend them on the incredible work they do for the Michigan community.

We are genuinely grateful for the services each organization provides to the people in need throughout Michigan and are proud to support their roles in our community.

This year, we want to highlight two amazing non-profits: Home Repair Services and A.Y.A Collective:

Home Repair Services

Home Repair Services works each and every day to strengthen vulnerable homeowner’s in the Kent County area. They do this through classes, resources, maintenance check ups, housing counseling, home accessibility, and more!

Since they first opened in 1972, HRS has helped over 35,000 Kent County Homeowners with their housing needs. This number continues to grow as they expand their services and reach.

Their vision is to see confident homeowners enjoying vibrant communities, and they accomplish that through the belief that homeownership encourages personal responsibility and builds dignity, value and pride.

Watch the inspiring interview below with Joel Ruiter of Home Repair Services, as well as Eastbrook’s Brad Mooney, as they describe the impactful work HRS does in the community

A.Y.A. Collective

Please click Here or on the video below to hear our recent interview with Lauren VanKeulen of the A.Y.A Youth Collective.

In 2020, A.Y.A Youth Collective, which stands for As You Are, was formed when 311 Housing, the largest youth-specific housing provider in West Michigan and Grand Rapids HQ, the only youth drop-in center in West Michigan, merged to increase the quality and capacity of the services they provide and add additional resources.

A.Y.A Youth Collective is a collective of spaces for youth experiencing homelessness, unsafe, or unstable housing. A.Y.A ensures their basic needs are met and provides a platform to launch their future.

The A.Y.A Youth Collective’s mission is rooted in belonging so people who have experienced exclusion due to race, gender, family, foster care, and more can be known and celebrated for who they are.

A.Y.A has been able to provide free rental assistance to housing alumni who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, helping them to keep their housing and preventing them from landing back on the streets. They have also provided employment support so that all of the youth who lost employment are back into jobs.

A.Y.A does so much more, like providing daily hot meals, and basic needs provisions every single day, as well as connections to physical and mental health support through partnerships with the GVSU Family Health Center, HealthNet of West Michigan, and The Wisdom Center counseling services.

Please tune in below to hear A.Y.A’s Lauren VanKeulen talk about these topics and so much more, including how the holidays are hard on many people, but especially youth in foster care.

Thank you for checking out this week’s Eastbrook Homes blog post and we hope you have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving and the rest of the Holiday Season.


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