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Copper Shores receives property donation from UP Health System – Portage

June 11, 2024 | By Emilie Jacques

Copper Shores Community Health Foundation is excited to announce a recent land acquisition that will help further our mission to positively influence a more healthful community through enhanced philanthropy and collaboration. On April 19, 2024, ownership of 821 Water Street in Hancock was transferred to Copper Shores from longtime community partner UP Health System – Portage (UPHS – Portage). This building has long been the home of the Copper Shores Meals on Wheels kitchen, and now the building and neighboring undeveloped property has a bright future for additional Copper Shores offices and programming.

Water St Building 3x1“This has been an ongoing discussion with UPHS – Portage, and we are glad to be able to finalize the transfer,” said Copper Shores President and CEO Kevin Store. “The donation is a huge testament of support. The building and surrounding grounds will be evaluated for continued use in support of our Meals on Wheels program; plus, we are exploring what other programming opportunities might be added in the unoccupied space.”

Major renovations are needed, including upgrades to meet ADA requirements and fire safety. OHM advisors are assessing the building and surrounding property to help Copper Shores make the most advantageous decisions for the future of its programming and the populations that it serves.

At this point, it’s not known exactly what this will lead to, but Copper Shores Meals on Wheels is already gearing up for improvements to the space they’ve been in for decades.

Water St. Arial“It’s incredibly exciting to know that necessary upgrades to this space are coming,” Meals on Wheels Program Director Kathleen Harter said. “By making physical changes to the building, we can improve our efficiency, cut down on other expenditures, and focus more on having local and healthful food options for our seniors.”

The building and property across the street previously housed physician offices and most recently community COVID-19 response efforts. UPHS – Portage recognized the property as an ideal fit for the needs of Copper Shores and was pleased to facilitate the transfer. Hospital officials were enthusiastic about completing this transfer, knowing the significant impact it could have under Copper Shores ownership and its potential to further their reach and impact within the community.

“We’re excited to further cement our partnership with Copper Shores through the land transfer of our property on Water Street, as well as our dedication to our community and its current need for programming,” UPHS – Portage Chief Executive Officer Ryan Heinonen said. “Their current services, as well as the potential programming that could be introduced in this space, are critical to the health and well-being of a community and we’re happy to support this development in our hometown through our donation.”

With the assessment underway, Copper Shores is looking forward to making plans for the space and deliberating how it can best serve the community. Further updates will be sent to the community as they become available. Learn about Copper Shores Community Health Foundation at


Emilie Jacques

Emilie Jacques

"I graduated from Michigan Tech with a B.S. in Psychology, a minor in Communication Studies, and a minor in Media Production. I love the outdoors and DnD." You can reach Emilie at