Good news in Pontiac: a million dollar renovation with generous donations turns a nightclub back into a church. Across the street from a facility where Grace Centers of Hope residents are breaking their addictions to drugs and alcohol…

Celebration on Resurrection Sunday

Read more in Dustin Blitchok’s news story. The first worship service in the former Clutch Cargo nightclub, which was a church from 1911 to 1997, will be held Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014.

More background is written in an Oakland Press story from last fall, when the building was sold by the nightclub owner and donated by an Oakland Township family to Grace Centers.

Turning Pontiac Around

Grace Centers of Hope is really turning Pontiac around, one street at a time. This successful non-profit organization now owns about 80 houses in town which they rent to graduates of their programs, while taking people from homelessness to home ownership.

Volunteers Help Out

Volunteers from many different walks of life help out at Grace Centers, which operates four thrift shops around the metro Detroit area.

Last September a team from a nearby GM Powertrain facility volunteered on Seneca Street in Little Grace Village, where many of their rental houses are located.

Grace Centers Overview

Pastor and CEO Kent Clark explained the vision and mission of Grace Centers of Hope to the GM volunteers (slides 8 & 9). A photo album on a picnic table helped tell the story. Some memorable quotes from his talk: “Not a dime of government money… A hand up, not a hand out” and “From homelessness to home ownership.”

Pastor Clark told stories of how donors had pitched in – one fundraiser sought a million quarters from people in metro Detroit to purchase their present church building for $250,000. With the church moving from its present location at Perry and Woodward, the building will be converted to a women and children’s center.

Home values in the immediate area have increased, as the Grace Centers houses are well cared for by residents and the many volunteers who help out. After someone raised the asking price too high and failed to keep up the taxes, Grace Centers bought the house a few years later from a tax auction.

Conclusion

It’s an amazing story of how good can triumph, of the power of teamwork and people helping each other break addictions. Grace Centers of Hope is turning the Light on in Pontiac again, the Light of the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ.