Family Promise Host Week – May 5-12


One of Fifth’s core ministry areas is Ending Homelessness in Grand Rapids! We partner with Family Promise to host families experiencing a housing crisis in our church building.  If you are signing up for the first time, or thinking about signing up, we encourage you to read these Frequently Asked Questions and Answers to learn more about each of the core volunteer opportunities.

Here is a glimpse into how the week is spent for the guests and our church volunteers. On the first Sunday after church, volunteers will move in beds and other supplies to set up our Sunday school rooms upstairs as bedrooms for up to 5 families (often a mother or father with a few children).  The guests arrive at church in the evening for Sunday dinner and to settle in for the new week, greeted by an evening host volunteer. During the week, the guests spend each weekday at a job or at the Family Promise Center where support is provided to help families address barriers and identify new housing, and children are bused to their schools. Each night, they return to church for a dinner prepared by our volunteers.  At least one volunteer host is available for the evening to play with children or help in other small ways as families relax for the evening.  Two volunteers come at 8:30 PM to be the overnight representatives from our church on site.  The volunteers are available for any needs that arise but also get a good night’s sleep on rollaway cots in a private area of the main room. After helping to make sure all guests are up, everyone is out the door again by 7 AM.

On Saturdays, the Family Promise Center is not open, so the church is open all day and volunteers are available in 2-hour shifts throughout the day to provide hospitality to those who stay in to rest and to open the doors for those who may be coming and going with activities during the day.  The week wraps up on Sunday morning with volunteers transporting guests and their belongings back to Family Promise and cleaning up to convert the space back into Sunday school classrooms.

There are many ways you can get involved!  Please look at the SignUp Genius to see the spots that remain open where you could serve. If you are interested in a role, but would like to observe for your first time, we’d love to pair you up with an experienced volunteer. Please call or text Joel Wierenga (215) 859-0380 or Marijo Zimmerman (616) 446-5246 if you have questions about volunteering.



Fifth has supported Family Promise for more than 25 years but if you have never volunteered, you might have lots of questions about what this ministry looks like in action. We encourage you to watch this 3-minute video told from a child’s perspective to get a glimpse of how you can help children and families experiencing a housing crisis this May 5-12. Could you share a pizza on Saturday night with our guests? Or help with moving beds out and cleaning up on the final Sunday morning? Would you like to learn more about what is involved in staying overnight at church? Those who’ve done it say you’ll be surprised how easy it is! A Family Promise team leader will be in the Lobby following Sunday services to assist anyone who needs help signing up. We would love to answer any questions you have!

 Click HERE for the SignUpGenius.



Fifth Church is one of 16 anchor churches in Grand Rapids combating homelessness through Family Promise-IHN. Fifth is hosting families experiencing a crisis in housing just 3 times in 2024.  Our second opportunity will be May 5-12.  Each time we host we need a team of nearly 60 people to serve. If you have been thinking about volunteering with this ministry, now is the time.  We won’t host again until December of 2024!

There are many ways for you, your family or small group to show God’s love expressed through kind hospitality. Opportunities to serve involve bringing a meal or being a gracious “host” to help families feel welcome in our church home during the weekday evenings, during the day on Saturday, and overnight. We also have one-time opportunities to help set up, clean up, assist with transportation, and wash blankets and sheets. Whatever way you can help, big or small, makes a difference in the lives of children and their parents.

Please contact the church office to learn of volunteer opportunities.  You won’t want to miss out if God is calling you to help!