Guiding Light Mission in Grand Rapids, MI

Overall Rating

(4 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
255 Division Avenue South
Grand Rapids MI 49503

Guiding Light Mission Philosophy

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Review by Contributors


Guiding Light Mission in Grand Rapids, Mich. is a faith-based organization that provides supportive services to homeless individuals. It also offers a long-term residential treatment program for men struggling with substance use disorder. The program is free for eligible clients, and is one of just four substance abuse treatment facilities in Michigan to provide residential treatment that's free of charge.

In addition, the mission can treat clients with co-occurring disorders, and is among the 36 percent of Michigan treatment facilities that accepts criminal justice clients.


Prior to admission at Guiding Light Recovery, men must be able and willing to work and be completely detoxed from drugs and alcohol. Men receiving federal assistance are not accepted. In addition, clients are required to participate in a seven- to 10-day probationary period before being admitted into the program.

The program blends 12-step programming with Christian spirituality principles to treat the whole person — mind, body, and spirit. Length of treatment typically lasts four to six months; Guiding Light Recovery is one 68 non-hospital treatment facilities in Michigan (only 15 percent) to offer a residential program that lasts longer than 30 days.

During treatment, clients participate in individual and group therapy, weekly life coach sessions, 12-step meetings, and education classes grounded in dialectical behavior therapy, a modality offered in 61 percent of Michigan treatment facilities.

Four months into the program, men are provided with access to vocational support and are required to find employment and work for the remainder of the time they're in the program. Residents are also given access to transportation and a computer lab.


According to its website, staff at Guiding Light Recovery includes licensed counselors, case managers, and a spiritual director. The one alum surveyed by to date gave the facility four out of five stars for its staff's level of training and experience.


Residents are provided with meals and shelter and have access to a local YMCA several times a week for exercise and recreation. At the time of this writing, the one former client polled by gave Guiding Light Recovery five out of five stars for both its cleanliness and its exercise and leisure activities.


Kevin, the one alum surveyed at the time of this writing, gave Guiding Light a highly positive review, awarding it four or five out of five stars in all metrics evaluated, including counseling options, faith-based programming, family participation, and connectivity. While he did note that the facility could improve its follow-up and aftercare practices, he nevertheless wrote: "It's a great facility for getting better."

On its Facebook page[1], which the mission has the ability to edit, Guiding Light Recovery earned a 4.6 out of five star rating based on the opinions of 31 individuals. The two former clients who left comments praised the program for its solid faith-based treatment, including Patrick who wrote: "I have personally witnessed how Guiding Light has impacted and literally changed the lives of men that completed the program. Truly God is real and moving through the lives of individuals."

Guiding Light Mission, as a whole, received a rating of 4.4 out of five stars based on 44 Google reviews[2]. "Does more for people than you would ever expect. Donations are not wasted at this place," James wrote in a representative review.


Guiding Light Recovery offers free treatment to clients, though clients residing in sober living homes pay $400 per month.


In the summer of 2018, Guiding Light opened its third transitional home for men in the Kentwood neighborhood. With the third location, Guiding Light now operates 12 apartments to accommodate up to 24 men transitioning back into the community.


Published on December 2018

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God based. follow through was a weakness. It's a great facility for getting better.

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