Before COVID-19, Westminster offered a space in our lobby that we called “Open Door Ministry.” From 9am – 4pm on Mondays – Thursdays, this space was available with coffee, water, reading materials, a phone, bathrooms and friendly faces and support for any neighbors who needed a respite from life on the streets.
Because of COVID-19, we were forced to stop making this space available. However, we’ve continued to support our neighbors through a growing partnership with Heartside Ministries. (Link to Heartside Ministries). Heartside Ministries also offers safe spaces for our neighbors during the day. Our Sandwich Brigade brings sandwiches each Monday to Heartside Ministries and we are exploring ways to deepen the partnership in the future.
Everyone is Welcome
Westminster is located in the middle of the Heartside Neighborhood of Grand Rapids. Our neighborhood contains many businesses and churches. A Grand Rapids Public School, the Museum School, is across the street from us on Jefferson.
Amid the hustle and bustle of downtown life, many men and women living on the margins eek out an existence in the streets. They are our neighbors.
Volunteers warmly greet folks who are looking for a safe place to rest, enjoy a cup of coffee, use the restroom, and make phone calls. The volunteers recognize the importance of creating an atmosphere where our neighbors can visit together as well as with the volunteers. If those who come to the Open Door have needs that we do not provide, we help them find the appropriate agencies that address those needs. It is common for the volunteers to hear expressions of warm appreciation for Westminster’s Open Door Ministry, and often the words, “God bless you,” as folks get ready to leave.