New Markets Tax Credits invested into Dégagé Ministries Improvement Project

Michigan Community Capital supports Dégagé Ministries renovation and expansion with $7.5 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocation

October 29, 2021

LANSING, Mich. – Dégagé Ministries will renovate and expand their current facility and services with the assistance of $7.5 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation provided by Michigan Community Capital (MCC) today. Located at 144 Division Avenue South in Grand Rapids, the two-phase project includes the renovation of the organization’s existing 100-year-old building and the construction of an addition which will result in a roughly 26,500-square-foot facility to serve people experiencing homelessness in Grand Rapids.

“We’re pleased to contribute to a vital and impactful project in a severely distressed area,” said Eric Hanna, president and CEO at Michigan Community Capital. “Not only will this project provide a safe space to serve people experiencing homelessness in Grand Rapids, it will also enable patrons access to tools designed to equip them with the skills required to attain–and maintain–employment and housing.”

The Project

The first phase of this project includes the construction of a 9,945-square-foot addition to the existing facility. This new space will include 66 beds with personal storage units, laundry facilities, a commercial kitchen, and a large attached dining facility.

The second phase of the project includes the rehabilitation of Dégagé Ministries’ current 16,588-square-foot facility. Upgrades will include a new coffee/retail shop for use by Paul’s Moms’ Cookies, a social enterprise providing employment and entrepreneurship training for patrons of the shelter; a new wellness center for those recovering from illness or surgery; and improved and enlarged classrooms for job and life-skill training for up to 1,000 attendees annually.

At completion, Dégagé Ministries will increase their shelter capacity from 14,600 to 27,010 overnight stays per year by replacing 40 sleeping mats with 74 beds. The new dining facility will increase the number of meals served to community members in need by nearly 50 percent.

Additionally, this expansion project is expected to support roughly 64 permanent positions with the Dégagé Ministries organization that pay a living wage. Approximately 60 employees will be utilized for the construction of the project.

Project Financing

“We are grateful to Michigan Community Capital, Old National Bank, and Macatawa Bank for making this critical project possible,” said Thelma Ensink, executive director of Dégagé Ministries. “Because of Michigan Community Capital’s investment in this project, we will be able to provide a Workforce Development, a Social Enterprise Business with a retail space on South Division, a Wellness Center and more. This investment and project help us take big steps forward to reduce homelessness and poverty in our community.”

Michigan Community Capital has allocated $7.5 million in New Markets Tax Credits resulting in a $2.3-million tax credit equity from ONB Community Equity, LLC to help finance the project.

“ONB Community Equity is honored to support the financing of this expansion, so the Dégagé team can enhance their dedication to delivering help and hope to people facing housing insecurity and other underserved individuals in Grand Rapids,” said Mike Harbaugh, VP tax credit relationship manager at Old National Bank.

Dégagé Ministries is also utilizing financial resources including a leverage loan for the transaction using capital campaign proceeds it has raised, plus a bridge loan from Macatawa Bank.

Learn More

About Dégagé Ministries

Beginning as a coffee house ministry to college students in 1967, Dégagé Ministries has evolved into a shelter and service provider to those experiencing homelessness in Grand Rapids. Since 1987, they have been in the downtown Grand Rapids Heartside neighborhood and have grown to serve 400 to 500 individuals daily. Dégagé provides overnight shelter and hygiene services, like private showers, to homeless women and children and serves hot meals to all in need in its downtown facility. They also provide assistance with obtaining identification documents, job and life-skill training, and work experience at an on-site bakery and coffee shop. Dégagé is an ecumenical Christian organization supported by many religious denominations, however it does not require its patrons to participate in religious programs. To learn more about Dégagé Ministries and their services, visit

About Michigan Community Capital

Michigan Community Capital (MCC) is a non-profit diversified public-private partnership that supports the missions of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) by aggregating capital and facilitating the financing and development of low-income and attainable housing, and the redevelopment of complex brownfield sites within the State of Michigan. MCC is a U.S. Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and the only Community Development Entity (CDE) that deploys this resource solely throughout the entire State of Michigan. Over its 16-year history, MCC has supported over $1 billion in project financing, successfully attracted $320 million in federal New Markets Tax Credits, and helped to create over 750 housing units and 1.3 million square feet of commercial, retail and industrial space to facilitate job creation and expansion. MCC provides products in four key pillars: housing equity, bridge and gap lending, New Markets Tax Credits, and property insurance for Low-Income Housing Tax Credit projects. For more information on MCC visit

To learn more about the New Markets Tax Credit Program visit