There is a severe shortage of affordable housing in Ottawa County, according to the United Way. And the vast majority of those units aren't handicap accessible, leaving those with disabilities very few options.

That's why the ribbon cutting for Providence Place in Grand Haven Tuesday, Aug. 15, is such a celebration. Four of the eight units will be handicap accessible and all will be affordable.

The finishing touches are nearly complete at Providence Place in Grand Haven, a project members of HOME Ministries and Love In Action have been working on together for months.

Sara Walters has rheumatoid arthritis and has needed a wheelchair since age 11. Her efforts to find affordable and accessible housing so she could live independently took years. "For my housing when I was in my 20's I found out there were not a lot of options for people who have physical limitations," she explained.

That's why she formed and Gwen Rubio formed HOME Ministries, to help others in the same situation. "This young woman that we were trying to help, a caregiver and I at the time, we were looking for any housing in the Holland/Zeeland/Grand Haven area and after a year of searching we were only able to come up with two apartments that had the no-step entry, the wider hallways and the roll up shower in all of that area and both of them had a five to ten year waiting list," she explained.

They approached Love In Action for help. "Our role in this was basically to provide the resources," explained Michael Stowell."We just viewed this as something we put hands and feet to. Let's do all the work that we can to show our love to people here that need housing whether they are physically disabled or just struggling financially." Love In Action purchased the building thanks to a capital campaign and a loan, as well as generous donations. Mike Scott Builders brought the vision to life.

Providence Place is a facility Sara hopes to see replicated, and it's certainly an answer to prayer. "It's just been a dream to see other people find housing that also have disabilities, so this definitely a victory. I'm just an ordinary person with an extraordinary God."

The public is invited to the ribbon cutting on Tuesday at 4:45 p.m. with the open house beginning at 5.

For more information about Love in Action, click here.

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