Crowdfunding campaign launched for the ‘Well House Garden and Murals’ Project

Friday, July 22, 2016

$25,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC and MSHDA’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

Lansing, Mich. – A Grand Rapids-area nonprofit that provides affordable housing for people experiencing homelessness will receive garden improvements, public art, and landscaping through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and Well House announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

“The Public Spaces, Community Places program helps to resource projects like this that not only develop spaces, but culture within communities,” said MEDC Community Development Director Katharine Czarnecki. “We are glad to partner in creating this neighborhood asset.”

If the “Well House Garden and Murals” campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $25,000 by September 18, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MSHDA and MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“The Well House Garden and Murals project will be a showcase for the transformations going on inside the homes within the neighborhood,” MSHDA Executive Director Kevin Elsenheimer said. “This project gives tenants a way to invest in their community and the beautiful gardens and murals can be a source of pride for how far they’ve come. I am pleased that MSHDA can help support this wonderful endeavor.”

The funds raised during this campaign will support Well House in expanding its mission of transforming vacant city homes that, once renovated, provide shared community living for people who would otherwise be homeless. To encourage their health and to provide jobs for tenants, this project will grow food for tenants and neighbors in lots near the homes and build public art and landscaping in addition to the expanding the gardens.

“At Well House, we know that relationship building and beautification can make a huge impact in the health of a neighborhood. We have begun creating additional community spaces, and have seen neighbors interacting in new ways,” said Well House Executive Director Tami VandenBerg. “Whether buying vegetables at our weekly market, volunteering in the garden, or dancing in the street at our Annual Harvest Party, getting folks to interact and spend time in the same spaces strengthens relationships and the neighborhood as a whole. We're so grateful to the MEDC and MSHDA for this opportunity to scale up our work in building and expanding these spaces.”

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, MSHDA, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity where local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, non-profits and other business entities can apply at


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About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

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