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Kent Companies Announces Make it Happen Partnership with Dégagé Ministries

[GRAND RAPIDS, MI] – The mission of Kent Companies is to invest in our people, our customers and the communities in which we build. Kent Companies announced a new Make it Happen Partnership with Dégagé Ministries, a non-profit organization located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

What’s different about Dégagé Ministries? 

Dégagé Ministries offers help and hope to homeless and disadvantaged individuals in the Grand Rapids community. The organization provides for both immediate and long-term needs such as overnight respite for women in crisis, food, referral services and hygiene facilities. Dégagé serves 400-500 patrons every day.

Dégagé Ministries’ programs foster dignity and respect. Meals are offered at a low cost with the intent of promoting  responsibility. Patrons are given the opportunity to choose what meal they would like to purchase and how they would like it prepared. Such a simple gesture grants them the opportunity to exhibit self-sufficiency rather than making them feel like a perpetual charity case. For those who have limited or no income, Dégagé offers 60 opportunities a day to earn “Dégagé Dollars” which may be used to purchase food and necessities or participate in services that have a fee attached.

(Kent employees, spouses and retirees volunteer at Degage each quarter. Left to right: Amy Tromp, Laurel Smitter, Aimee VanBemden, Zach VanBemden, Mark Tromp, Mindy Curtiss, Dave Cummings.)
Kent Companies employees, spouses and retirees volunteer at Degage each quarter. Left to right: Amy Tromp, Laurel Smitter, Aimee VanBemden, Zach VanBemden, Mark Tromp, Mindy Curtiss, Dave Cummings.

How is the Kent  Companies team involved?

Throughout the year, Kent Companies supports Dégagé Ministries through monetary support as well as volunteer time. Each quarter, Kent Companies employees volunteer one evening to help run the dining room. Vice President Jeff French volunteers frequently with the Kent team. He shares, “Working in the dining room is such a small commitment of my time, but it’s a big investment in others.  My  daughter has joined me on many occasions. We both learn lessons in gratitude and service to others.”

What is the Make it Happen Partnership?

Kent Companies is underwriting the cost of the bus ticket program in the Dégagé Resource Office. Last year, over 15,000 bus tickets were issued for verified appointments such as job interviews, doctors appointments and more.

When a patron is trying to get back on their feet, they need transportation to critical appointments. Kent Companies is helping them Make it Happen.

The Dégagé Ministries Team recorded this video to explain the bus ticket program and to say thanks to the Kent Companies team.

Click here to watch the video.

Dégagé Ministries Development Director Brooke Jevicks shared, “Thank you so much – from all of us – for your support! Your time and generosity is truly making a huge impact as we strive to restore hope and transform lives among the people we serve every day. We are thrilled to be partnering with Kent Companies on the bus ticket program!”

Kent Companies CEO Jeff VanderLaan added, “We’re a people first organization, and we know it’s important to take action to fulfill our promises to the community. Working with Dégagé Ministries gives our team the opportunity to serve others. We’re proud to provide resources to Degage patrons who are working hard to make something happen.”


About Kent Companies:

Kent Companies is a 3rd-generation family-owned business with expertise in commercial and industrial construction, mixed-use construction, multi-family housing, tilt-up concrete, post-tensioned cast in place structures and a full range of concrete-related specialties. Kent Companies is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan and has operations in Detroit, Michigan; Dallas, Texas; central Ohio and Charlotte, North Carolina. The Kent Companies team has built a reputation as “Leaders in Concrete.”  Additional media inquiries can be directed to Leah Gradl by emailing or by calling (616) 534-4909.

About Degage Ministries:

The mission of Degage Ministries is to reflect the love of Christ to all who came through our doors by building relationships and offering programs that foster dignity and respect. Learn more about Degage Ministries online at Learn more about the Degage Ministries Resource Office by visiting