Justin Beene – Founder/Director, Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation | Grand Rapids, MI
Dr. Justin Beene is the director/founder of the Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation (GRCCT), Grand Rapids, Mich., a collective of non-profit and for-profit entities with a mutual interest in alleviating poverty. Together these partners are working to see flourishing in the city for all.
One of their joint efforts is the “Building Bridges Professional Services;” a social enterprise that Dr. Beene started in 2006 and now generates $ 1 Million annually, maintains over 500 properties, provides significantly reduced rates to low income seniors, and has planted over 1000 trees while employing 25 hard to hire individuals from the community. Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation also birthed “Rising Grinds Cafe,” a community-driven restaurant that utilizes a quadruple bottom line approach; focusing on people, planet, purpose and profit. Each year the Center issues a community impact report focusing on all areas.
Finally, the Center houses all of Bethany Christian Services Youth Programs, which comprises a robust university evaluation of all the employment training, mentorship, education and case management services, including the nationally recognized “Youth Build program,” which is a high school/GED completion and vocational training school for the construction trades. The Center also played the key role in developing Michigan’s first mixed-income housing development that has previously homeless youth co-located with market rate units. Click here to learn more about the Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation.