press release

News from Progress Michigan

Wednesday, September 15, 2021 

Contact: Sam Inglot,, (616) 916-0574 

Alma Welcomes Immigrants to Former Masonic Home

Alma City Commission votes 4-2 for unity, not division

MICHIGAN – In a sign of showing compassion for children seeking a better life in this country, the Alma City Commission voted 4-2 to rezone a former Masonic lodge being used as a nursing home to be converted into a facility for migrant refugee youth. 

Fortunately, facts prevailed, and the vote showed how small Michigan communities can affirm that everyone, regardless of who they are or where they come from, deserves to live in a community that is welcoming and accepting.

Last month, Progress Michigan called upon the Alma City Commission to approve rezoning after the Alma Planning Commission voted to deny that request. In the end, the City Commission voted for inclusivity and compassion. 

“Everyone deserves to live in a community that is safe, inclusive, and welcoming, so it’s a positive step that the Alma City Commission voted to affirm this by approving the rezoning request,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Protecting migrant children and providing them a safe and welcoming space is a value we all share across Michigan whether it be a rural area like Alma or a big city like Grand Rapids. We thank the commissioners who supported this decision for doing their jobs and letting kindness drown out the vitriol.”