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Frequently asked questions

Whether you are a guest or a donor of Mel Trotter Ministries, we answer all of your FAQs.

Guest FAQ

Do I have to go to chapel?

No. While chapel is still offered nightly, there is not requirement for chapel. There are other classes and opportunities offered each night so guests have choices.


Is the mission safe?

The safety of our guests, staff, volunteers and visitors is our top priority. That’s why we invest in security staff to ensure that everyone feels comfortable, welcome and loved when they arrive here. We ask any overnight guests to go through a metal detector and we have close relationships with the Grand Rapids Police Department, local hospitals and emergency services staff.


Is there a curfew?

Due to the significant numbers of individuals we serve, we need to have a curfew so we are able to accommodate everyone for meals and shelter. Overnight Emergency guests have specific check in times most of the year. During the winter months, these curfews are lifted to accommodate anyone any time of the night. Our goal during this time is to make sure everyone is safe and warm.

Check in time is 2:30pm – 9:00pm.


Will my stuff be secure?

Guest items that are unable to go with them into the shelter are stored in a secure location overnight. While we do our best to ensure your items are safe, items that are lost or stolen are not the responsibility of the Mission.



Do I have to pay for my meal?

There is no cost to meals for guests who are staying at Mel Trotter. 

Click here to learn about meals and shelter.

Is the food good?

We are blessed with fresh food that is prepared daily in the cafeteria by our Culinary Services team. We make every effort to accommodate allergies and special requests. If you have a concern or a special menu request, please talk to a member of our Culinary Services team.


Do you run out of food?

If you are present during the scheduled meal time, then you are guaranteed a meal. Sometimes meal items change throughout the meal time depending on the number of guests we serve and how much of a food item we have available.

Donor FAQ

What kind of monetary gifts do you accept?

Mel Trotter Ministries accepts cash, checks, credit cards, stocks, estate gifts and property that does not have a debt tied to it.


Who can assist me in making a gift to Mel Trotter Ministries?

Someone from our development team would be happy to help you with making a gift. Please call 616-454-8249 and we can assist you. You can also donate quickly and securely here.

Cash or checks can be sent to:
Mel Trotter Ministries
Attn: Development
225 Commerce Avenue SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503


What is your non-profit status?

Mel Trotter Ministries is a 501(c)(3) organization. Your gifts are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Please contact your financial adviser for more information.

Does MTM receive government funding?

MTM receives some state and federal grants to help support special projects and shelter resources, however, the majority of our funding is from private donors: individuals (72%), businesses (14%), foundations and churches (14%). Without our loyal private donors, we would not be able to continue our ministry.


Does MTM have any debt?

No, as of November 2013 Mel Trotter Ministries is debt free.


How much money do you need to raise each year?

The philanthropic revenue goal for the current fiscal year is $7.5m. Of that, $500,000 is budgeted from bequests and $1-1.5m in grants.

How do I make a stock gift?

The securities agent who serves the Mission is Mark Oberlin at The Oberlin Group Wealth Advisors of Raymond James,

2060 East Paris Ave SE, Ste 250
Grand Rapids, MI 49546 (616-974-3362)


What planned giving and estate planning services are available?

Many friends of the Mission are interested in estate planning and desire to receive specialized information. Our development staff members are available to answer your questions or connect you to one of the specialists in all areas of giving, including planned giving and estate planning.

How much of my gift goes to programs?
  • 65 cents of every dollar goes directly to programs
  • 18 cents goes to administration
  • 17 cents goes into development

Together, we work to efficiently run the Mission, be good stewards of your generous donations and help more people get homes.



Transforming Lives

“Without MTM, I don’t know where I would be, but definitely not in the great position I am now socially, economically, spiritually, and physically,” said Sidney. “There isn’t anything they fall short of in meeting guests’ needs.”


Sidney once had it all— a successful flooring business, a six-figure salary, a home in a gated community, a beautiful wife. He lost everything, however, when a serious injury sidelined him for two years and started him on a path to nowhere.

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