Stories of Compassion
Each of us has a unique story of hope and restoration.
The guests featured in our stories below have experienced homelessness, found renewed hope in Christ, and have started on a new journey that God has planned for them.
*Please note that in order to protect the privacy of our guests, many names and photos have been changed but their stories remain untouched.
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Matt and Staci Perkins have been a part of The Community as monthly givers for 17 years. They grew up in West Michigan, and through their church, heard how Mel Trotter Ministries helps individuals experiencing homelessness in the community. Because of their faithful giving over the years, they have provided so many meals, nights of shelter, and hope for our guests.
“I was praying to God to lead me to another job…,” said Angela. While praying and attending community college, one of Angela’s professors told her about a job fair and encouraged her to go, despite feeling emotionally exhausted. When she arrived, she met staff members from Mel Trotter Ministries (MTM) and received an application. “I kept hearing God say ‘MTM.’ I had the experience I could relate to and meet people where they are. I was once homeless and addicted to drugs. I could relate to the brokenness.”
After many years of unemployment and making money illegally, followed by 3 years behind bars, Isaiah wanted to turn his life around. With no place to go, he came to Mel Trotter Ministries in search of a new beginning.
Being born and raised in Grand Rapids, Patrick drove past the Mission countless times over 40 years, seeing people struggle, and looking down on them for sleeping on the sidewalk. He never thought he would end up at Mel Trotter Ministries one day, saying, “I prayed and hoped that I would never end up in a place like this.”
Hakeem grew up in Grand Rapids with his parents and three siblings. Life was anything but easy. Having been born into an already struggling family, his situation went downhill at age 6 or 7 when they were involved in a housefire, and his dad ran off.
Like so many individuals who find themselves experiencing homelessness for the first time as an adult, Red had no idea when he was a young boy that his family’s dysfunction would seep its way into his own life choices.
More than anything, Danette wants to encourage others who find themselves in tough situations. “I just hope that people who may be in the places God delivered me from can see the hope in Christ. Because he’s the only way.”
After the Navy, and with feelings of depression, the alcohol started. Those feelings grew larger and stronger. They also lead me to a horrible night when I attacked my family. My mom was the only one seriously injured. What a horrible time for her, she’s been a victim of 3 men from alcohol (her dad, her husband, and me). Because of that incident, I served 22 ½ years in prison.
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“Mel Trotter is a great stepping stone,” says Robert*, noting that the resources he’s received combined with the positive influence of the Mel Trotter team have helped put his dream of having his own apartment within reach.
Last year, Robert lived in his car for eight months. One night he fell asleep and awoke to find himself nearly frozen. A concerned friend recommended Robert seek safe shelter at Mel Trotter Ministries. For the past few months, he has received hot, hearty meals, a warm, comfortable bed to sleep in and personalized support to help him find stability and secure affordable housing of his own.
*names and photos have been changed to protect the privacy of our guests