North Kent Community Services has a New Name and a New Store

Jeff Terpstra (Scott Allen Creative), Claire Guisfredi (executive director of North Kent Connect) and John Chickering (Chickering Associates)


Connecting people in North Kent to the services they need

North Kent Community Services is in the business of connecting people to the resources they need, including a store that is opening soon! It’s also one of the reasons its name is changing to North Kent Connect.

“People had difficulty remembering the name North Kent Community Services since it was so long,” explained Claire Guisfredi, Executive Director at North Kent Connect. “We needed something shorter that describes what we do. North Kent Connect does that.”

North Kent Connect connects people to the resources they need–anything from food to job training to fellowship–to help residents in northern Kent County meet basic needs and work towards economic independence.

In order to help even more people in the community, they are opening North Kent Connect Store on Friday, August 4. Anyone can shop there for high-quality, gently-used clothing and household goods at affordable prices. It will be located at 10075 Northland Drive NE. Every purchase will help local families better their lives through North Kent’s empowerment programs.

Pastor Laurie TenHave-Chapman, First Congregational UCC and Char Bouwkamp talk with Jeff DeRegnaucourt, West Michigan Archery Center

However, the store has a unique buying proposition. Not only can items be purchased at affordable prices, North Kent Connect clients can also receive store credit by volunteering in the community or taking classes. The organizations’ V.I.P. plan for clients supports the initiative of three-ways-to-pay: Volunteer, Invest or Purchase.

Guisfredi said, “Financial struggles can be a very humbling experience. Shopping at North Kent Connect Store serves as a reminder that everyone has something to offer. It gives our clients dignity knowing that they can give back in some way–through volunteering, investing in themselves (by taking a class), or purchasing items. The North Kent Connect Store is an exciting opportunity for us. It will help the community become aware of all that we offer here. Also, the store will offer job skills training for special needs young adults.”

North Kent Connect Store will be open to the public (beginning August 4) on Tuesday and Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Clients only can shop Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

North Kent Connect (formerly North Kent Community Services) announces its name change and new store to pastors and business leaders at several coffee events on May 16

North Kent Connect (formerly North Kent Community Services) is a Christian organization committed to improving the lives of all people in northern Kent County by providing access to basic needs and promoting economic independence through its crisis, empowerment, and fellowship programs.