Early 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 birthed.

With the success of the day camp venture, the founders evolved into overnight emergency shelters. Twelve original churches were signed up to provide meals and lodging in the Fall & Winter season of 1988. Before the first season ended around Easter 1989, another 9 congregations came on board.

In May of 1989 an official 501c3 application for nonprofit status was granted to MCREST. The first President of the MCREST Board was elected in May and the founding Board went on to develop guidelines, organize volunteers and plan for the first full year of services beginning later in 1989. MCREST has grown from those original 21 churches to over 70 today representing many denominations across Macomb County.

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.


32 Years of Service

640,000 shelter nights provided
Approx. 20,000 per year

18,048 people served
Approx. 564 per year

Homeless Children in Macomb
1448 - 2018-19

Learning & Resource Center
Since Oct. 2015
Guests Served - 630
Employment Placements - 195
Certificate Programs - 34

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Our Story

Board of Directors

MCREST’s Board of Directors is considered to be a working board consisting of up to seventeen volunteer members from the community such as business owners, ministers, city council members and many other leaders. Elected at the annual meeting by representatives of member congregations, the Board of Directors serve for a three year term and elect the Executive Board annually at the June meeting. The primary role of the Board of Directors is to set the policies that are carried out by the Executive Director and staff and to ensure the fiscal well-being of the MCREST organization.

In 1997, MCREST had its first annual audit and has received an unqualified opinion from 1996 through 2010.

The Board of Directors and staff are committed to the mission of MCREST and are available to work with congregations who volunteer and host guests in their place of worship.

What are today's challenges?

  • 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 

  • Continue to raise the standard of care and navigating the stages of change for homeless men, women and children in the great State of Michigan



Our response to COVID-19 has been swift. Watch us discuss with Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel.



We are often aided in our mission through local media coverage.

Our Mission

To provide homeless and displaced individuals the opportunity for successful transition to independence!

Vision as a Community: a place where men, women and children experiencing the trauma of homelessness find emergency solutions and housing resources.

Agency: the premier advocate for homeless and at-risk individuals where the point of entry as well as the road to transition is accessible.

Core Values

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

  • Integrity: We will say what we do and do what we say at all times. 

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

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

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

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