Barnabas House
What Drives Us

We at Barnabas have been advocating for homeless youth for a really long time, and believe strongly that every young person in our community deserves a safe place to call “home”.


The Site

Strategically located near the center of the county, the Barnabas Campus is set apart enough to reduce distractions yet close enough to jobs, school, and faith opportunities.

Site work has begun, to prepare the 24.3 acres for all future buildings.

The first building to be constructed will be the Barnabas House, our community’s long-awaited licensed emergency shelter for homeless, runaway, and throwaway youth. Currently the Project Coordinators and Design Team are working on the blueprints, making sure all design specifics meet State Of Michigan requirements for facilities caring for youth.

Next will be the Community Building, housing a regulation-size gym for the Lakeshore Honors League and other community events. The gym will be the Fred Kerr Memorial Gymnasium, in honor of a long-time member of our community who advocated strongly for youth before stepping into his eternal home.

The Barnabas Corporate offices will be housed there as well.

Independent Living cabins and recreational fields will be constructed as funding allows.

The Plan

The Plan

The Barnabas House project includes emergency housing, independent living sites, and licensed foster homes to care for all our youth, within our own community.

The Barnabas House is a 13-bed facility that will provide access to necessary services such as shelter, laundry and food, while making community resources available to precariously housed youth.

Independent living sites are available throughout our community to connect youth in need of gentle supervision to develop life skills needed for their educational, vocational, relational, and spiritual success.

The Need

In June 2012, the Ottawa Area Intermediate School district released its numbers of homeless students throughout our community.

Students. Attending school, Homeless.

The numbers are sobering.

For the 2011-2012 school year, the ISD has  888 students registered as homeless. Of that number, 107 are listed as unaccompanied. For the 2012-2013 school year, that number increased to 135 students.

Totally alone.

Student self-report number from 2011, recorded in the Ottawa County Health Department YAS survey, shows 113  8th, 10th and 12th graders had no place to sleep at least once this school year.

Kids with backpacks, homework, going to class. No safe place to sleep. In our community.

We believe this is unacceptable.

We believe NOW is the time to band together and build the Barnabas House.

Frequently Asked Questions

Send your questions to:

*  Who will be able to stay at the Barnabas House?
Youth who are in crisis, who have no shelter alternative

*  Will you require youth to agree with your statement of faith before serving them?          
No. All youth in need of emergency housing will be served, regardless of race, religion, or social standing.

*  Will this be for boys, girls, or both?
The Barnabas House will serve both boys and girls, with individual rooms in separate areas.

*  How will the Barnabas House be staffed?
24-hour staffing, with someone awake at all hours.

* What is the latest news with the status of the Barnabas House?
Site work is complete. Barnabas has entered the final stages of it’s Capital Campaign to bring in the necessary funding to construct the Barnabas House. The goal is for the entire project to continue as it has from the beginning: paid entirely in cash.