Caring Communities

An Outreach Ministry of Pine Rest

Caring Communities was established to partner with local agencies to address the gap in behavioral and mental health services that underserved people in the Greater Grand Rapids area experience. The shared philosophy for this ministry is to establish and build partner relationships and to demonstrate long-term commitment to this vital, caring expression.


Since the inception of the program in 2002, Caring Communities has connected with over 20 agencies to address this need. Caring Communities provides the planning and coordination with local agencies to partner together to provide services.


Caring Communities is funded through a monetary commitment from the Pine Rest Board of Directors.


Caring Communities fulfills the Pine Rest mission by providing behavioral health services to underserved people in the Greater Grand Rapids area through a non-traditional model of care.


We work in partnership and collaboration with community organizations. Services are provided where the people are and strive to meet the needs of the culturally diverse communities we are serving. Services are relational, so that trust can be established, and so that we can educate and decrease the mental health stigma prevalent in poor and non-white communities. The model of care is holistic, blending many health care disciplines. Services often follow an open door model, with no scheduled appointments and the length of encounter varies based on need. Efforts are made, whenever appropriate, to help people access and connect with other community resources. Services are typically not billed to third parties and are free to participants.


Specific Goals

  • Provide behavioral health services to people in urban and/or underserved areas who are unable or unwilling to access services through traditional models of care
  • Increase individual and community awareness of behavioral health services that are available and how they can be accessed
  • Empower individuals and families to provide positive support to one another
  • Establish, build, and maintain partnerships over time


Current Partnerships      



  • Psycho-Educational and/or Support Groups
  • 1:1 meetings
  • Consultation
  • Mentoring

For more information, please contact Sara Gee, LMSW at (616) 281-6363 ext. 6600 or e-mail