Steepletown History

“If You Give A Person A Fish, You Feed Them For A Day. If You Teach A Person To Fish, You Feed Them For A Lifetime”


This ancient Chinese saying still rings true, but what happens when people lack the tools, equal opportunity, and ability to catch the proverbial fish? What about the tasks of cleaning and preparing the fish to eat?


Since 1993, Steepletown has been actively addressing this problem through innovative programs and effective community partnerships. 

In 1993, three neighboring Catholic Churches on the City’s lower West Side- St. James, St. Mary, and the Basilica of Saint Adalbert – shared a vision to address the changing realities and needs of its neighbors. As a result Steepletown was founded and incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1994 under the umbrella of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops.   In 2020, due to changing leadership within the local institutional Catholic Church, the Steepletown Board chose to separate and become an independent nonprofit organization.

From its modest beginnings with only a part-time Director back in 1993, Steepletown now has 7 full-time and 4 part-time staff.  And yet Steepletown operates on the basis that change which is going to truly transform lives takes the effort of the entire community.   The strategy behind Steepletown’s efforts is to create a network of opportunities for those living on the West Side and the surrounding communities.

Stories of Impact

Stories of Impact

2023  Alumni Excellence Award Winner

Preston was introduced to Steepletown shortly after he became a resident of Covenant House Grand Rapids, a transitional living center for young adults. At that

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