About 3:11

We have a vision for a community where all youth have a place to call home, where every person is valued for their contribution to the community, and where youth empower each other to make lasting changes in their lives.

We Develop

Safe, affordable housing for youth

Since 2012, 3:11 has been providing housing to young people, ages 18 to 24, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 3:11 exists to provide a supportive network to our young people, and through your support, community partnerships, and the work of our youth, we hope to be able to house even more of the 2,000 young people experiencing homelessness throughout Kent County each year.

Our Name

The name, 3:11, comes from the Bible verse 1 Corinthians 3:11. While Christ has  provided the foundation for this work, we do not proselytize to our young people. If and when a young person wants to talk about faith, we engage in a conversation, affirming and accepting their perspectives and choices. We do not have any faith requirements as compliance for services, and we do not require any religious activities.

What We’ve

Achieved

40+ Youth Housed

Since 2012, 3:11 has housed over 40 youth. 3:11 can currently house 21 youth at a time.

Stable Housing

90% of youth find safe and stable housing of their own or reunite with family upon move-out.

Saved over $10,000

Collectively, our youth have saved over $10,000 for future housing through their rental savings accounts.

Youth Engagement

100% of youth are engaged in community meals, learning valuable life skills and conflict resolution.

Goal Setting

100% of current youth are engaged in goal setting, tracking their progress as they move towards healthy interdependence.

Education & Employment

90% of youth have obtained full-time employment, entered and completed trade school, and/or pursued higher education.

Our

Story

  • Starts with an Idea

    3:11 Youth Housing began in 2012 with a dream, a team of dedicated youth, and a newly engaged couple. God took this dream and created a reality.

  • Next Steps

    In January of 2012, Jonathan and Lauren VanKeulen were praying that God would clearly show them the path for their next steps. They had felt convicted for about 6 months that maybe Jon needed to quit his job and pursue opening a housing program, but it just didn’t seem realistic them. So they asked God to give them so much clarity they couldn’t argue.

    A day after that prayer, God answered.

  • Addressing Housing Needs

    At youth group that night, one of the teens approached Lauren and Jon, explaining that he really needed to talk to them about something. He told them that God was telling him to start a housing program for youth in the city. After everything he’d been through and everything he saw his friends going through, he couldn’t ignore this huge problem. Jon and Lauren were blown away. They immediately started praying. As they talked and prayed, God was clear in His direction–Jon needed to quit his job and they needed to pursue this full time. Lauren and Jon realized that God was calling them to something bigger. Addressing the housing needs for youth in this city would give them an avenue to address the low graduation rates, generational poverty, and incidents of violence –leading the way towards life transformation.

  • God’s Work

    Throughout this time, Jon and Lauren had many conversations and meetings that further confirmed this decision. When they obeyed, God said go. Since then, they have been blessed to work with a variety of organizations within Grand Rapids to provide needed services, job opportunities, and transportation. Many young people have committed to being a part of this program, paying a percentage of their income towards rent, investing in their future, and learning how to transition into self-sufficient adults. The dream of 3:11 is a reality and God is working in the lives of youth every single day.

  • Vision for the Future

    3:11 Youth Housing has a vision for the future. A vision to see more lives transformed and more youth connected. 3:11 focuses on depth of impact and true growth. Our organization envisions a city where youth know they have a place, where their graduation day can be celebrated, and where they can move from dependency to interdependence through their time at 3:11 Youth Housing.

Our

Board Members

Board President

Mike Keller

B.S. Supply Chain Management
Regional Workforce Capacity Planner at Booking.com

“I am really excited about the impact 3:11 is having on youth currently living in the 3:11 home, as well as the projected growth, and the impact we can have on many more youth in the Grand Rapids area. 3:11 is now partnering with several other organizations which will allow us to grow significantly in the next few years and to provide housing for many more youth.”

Board Vice-President

Alex Kontras

M.P.A Urban and Regional Policy and Planning
Program Senior Consultant at Public Sector Consultants

“I believe that housing is foundational. The demands of the modern world are steep, and we can only meet them if we have some level of stability in our lives. This means having a place to call home. I love and support the work of 3:11 Youth Housing because it provides homeless young adults with a stable home and the support they need to grow, and ultimately to thrive. ”

Board Treasurer

Krista Helder

B.S. Accounting, M.S. Taxation
Senior Financial Analyst at Herman Miller

“I was first introduced to 3:11 on a quest to find ways to give in the world that resulted in sustainable change. It was instantly evident that 3:11 was an organization that truly believed in youth and was committed to getting them back on their feet so they could not only find stability, but be empowered to become the positive force in this world they were created to be. I am honored to be part of an organization that has and continues to change trajectory of so many lives.”

Board Secretary

Jason Kalis

B.S., M.Ed., M.Div. in progress
Independent Supports Coordinator at Community Living Services

“The 3:11 Youth Housing model is the best approach to addressing the needs of young people in our community, and I am honored to serve this organization.”

Board Member

Trenessa Allen

Master of Social Work
Resident Services Specialist at Grand Rapids Housing Commission

“I truly believe 3:11 Youth Housing is doing the real work of housing young people in an intentional and effective way. It is an honor to be a part of this organization, and I look forward to empowering young lives.”

Board Member

Katrina Bultman

B.A. International Business
Associate Product Manager at Herman Miller

“What particularly attracted me to 3:11 was the mentorship model of youth housing. By providing both the foundation and the resources for young people, 3:11 is creating a sustainable solution for this crisis. I look forward to helping 3:11 further their goals.”

Board Member

Khara DeWit

B.S. Accounting and Business Administration
Accountant at KDA Accounting Services

“I have been deeply impacted by this idea from Frederick Buechner: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” 3:11 is beautifully loving and walking alongside the homeless youth in Grand Rapids, providing them both belonging and safety. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

Board Member

Ryan Duffy

Juris Doctorate
Attorney at Law with Miller-Johnson

“3:11 has employed a unique and effective model to serve the youth in Grand Rapids that have no home and need assistance. I am excited to have the opportunity, through 3:11, to serve and meet the needs of youth who are experiencing homelessness.”

Board Member

Ja-Quari Moore-Bass

3:11 Youth Housing Co-Founder, Alumni and Former House Mentor
Direct Care Specialist at Hope Network

“I’ve been there. I know what each young person is going through. I also know there’s a way out. I plan to always be involved with 3:11 and to invest in the lives of youth. I’m on the board because I know what this place can do.”

Standing Board Member

Lauren VanKeulen

Masters of Social Work
Co-Executive Director at 3:11 Youth Housing

“I am passionate about co-creating and maintaining an organization that serves all people effectively. I love working for 3:11 because I get to see true transformation in the lives of youth. I am also passionate about collaborating with other organizations to more effectively serve this population.”

Standing Board Member

Jonathan VanKeulen

Licensed Residential and Commercial Builder
Co-Executive Director at 3:11 Youth Housing

“I am passionate about working for transformation in the city of Grand Rapids, specifically in using construction, employment, and housing to bring about long-term revitalization. I am grateful to be a part of an organization that is making lasting change in the lives of young people.”

3:11 Youth Housing is a registered nonprofit, 501(c)3, organization. All donations are tax-deductible.
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