In the first quarter of 2021, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation Impact Investment Committee approved its first loan to the LIFT Foundation (LIFT), a community resource for building, preserving, operating, and maintaining homes for people with low incomes in west Michigan.

With their loan, LIFT is repurposing the Knights Inn motel in the Vine neighborhood to provide shelter for community members experiencing homelessness. The need for immediate shelter has increased as the COVID-19 pandemic has limited the access of day shelters and prompted people to seek shelter in encampments, where health and safety concerns and lack of access to bathrooms, running water and food put individuals and families at risk. In the long term, LIFT plans to convert immediate shelter into affordable studio apartments for community members with low income.

"We look forward to the positive impacts they will make in Kalamazoo with the expansion of housing access for the homeless population, a key priority in making Kalamazoo County a more equitable place to live," said Susan Springgate, Vice President of Finance and Administration at KZCF.

Impact Investment Loans are a special financing option for projects that support community growth in three goal areas:
  • Increase access to housing
  • Support and expand BIPOC wealth-building opportunities
  • Develop nonprofit infrastructure
The Creamery, an affordable housing complex with quality child are center, was supported by an Impact Investment loan from KZCF. Construction was completed in February and the building opened in March. To learn more about Impact Investments, visit