Mel Trotter expands services amid the cold

Mel Trotter Ministries, at the corner of Williams Street and Commerce Avenue. (GR|Mag photo/Sam Easter)
Mel Trotter Ministries at the corner of Williams Street and Commerce Avenue. Photo by Sam Easter

Mel Trotter Ministries (MTM) is seeing an increased need to support the cold, hungry and homeless, as West Michigan experiences ongoing winter conditions.

MTM’s shelter at 225 Commerce Ave. SW in Grand Rapids issued a Code Blue emergency in mid-November when overnight temperatures first started dropping below 30 degrees. The Code Blue still is in place, meaning the shelter is open to anyone needing assistance at any time without restriction.

As staff members work to provide food, warmth and shelter to even more people in need, staff and volunteers have continued to operate MTM’s outreach program, which involves daily, daytime and evening deployment of teams who seek out people living on the street, checking on their welfare and encouraging them to come to the shelter.

“When he was on Earth, Jesus often went to the people who were hurting and in need of help,” said Dennis Van Kampen, president and CEO, Mel Trotter Ministries. “He searched for them and helped them without judgment. We approach our outreach work the same way.”

MTM opened a 24/7 overflow shelter in early December at 200 S. Division Ave. in Grand Rapids, which already has seen a steady increase in use by those experiencing homelessness. Heartside Ministry uses the same building to provide daytime services to those in need.

More information about MTM’s outreach is here.

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