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Mission & History

Mission & Vision


For nearly 35 years, MCREST (Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team) has served and supported Macomb County’s homeless population. As the largest nonprofit homeless agency in the county, our mission is to provide homeless and displaced individuals the opportunity for successful transition to independence. In everything we do, we are guided by a core vision as a community: as a place where men, women and children experiencing the trauma of homelessness find emergency solutions and housing resources.

At the heart of our work lies six essential values:


We will uphold the dignity, honor the diversity, and respect the life of every individual. 


We will say what we do and do what we say at all times. 


With creativity, foresight and fortitude we will open doors and create new opportunities for those we serve. 


Through proactive teamwork we will forge partnerships and streamline resources to maximize our efficiency. 


With clearly defined expectations and common understanding we will utilize every available tool to advocate for the homeless population and educate the community. 


We will efficiently manage and maintain all of the assets including financial, physical and humanitarian that have been entrusted to our care.

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A History of Service


In 1988, nine founders assembled with the idea of a homeless day camp. As a result of that meeting at Trinity Lutheran Church in Clinton Township, the organization now known as MCREST was born.

With the success of the day camp venture, the founders evolved MCREST’s mission into overnight emergency shelter. Twelve original churches were signed up to provide meals and lodging in the fall and winter season of 1988. Before the first season ended around Easter 1989, another nine congregations joined MCREST.

In May of 1989, an official 501(c)(3) application for nonprofit status was granted to MCREST. The first president of the MCREST Board of Directors was elected in May and the founding Board went on to develop guidelines, organize volunteers and plan for the first full year of services.


MCREST has grown from those original 21 churches to more than 70 today representing many denominations across Macomb County. In 2022, MCREST opened its first fixed shelter, a women & children’s shelter located in Mt. Clemens. Today, MCREST provides meals, lodging, life-skills training, housing assistance, job readiness training, and emergency shelter 365 days each year to Macomb County’s homeless population.

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So, what are today's challenges?

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As MCREST continues to transition individuals and families experiencing homelessness to self-reliance and housing, we recognize challenges, some exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic:


Educating the community about the invisible faces most affected by homelessness today


Creating housing and stabilization resources in an economic environment that has left thousands of single women and children without a home of their own


Creating affordable housing options to address the growing homeless population 


Continuing to raise the standard of care and navigating the stages of change for men, women and children experiencing homelessness both locally and in Michigan


Every day, 365 days per year, MCREST advocates for local men, women, and children experiencing the trauma of homelessness.

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