COVID-19 Response Plan
Mel Trotter Ministries will remain open and continue to provide a constant safety net to the vulnerable population we serve.
MTM Response Plan:
We have temporarily suspended volunteer opportunities, however we are very much in need of volunteers who would specifically be able to conduct temperature checks on our guests and staff, as well as those who are able to help in our security areas. Please contact Dawn VanHorn at 616-588-8723 or if you are able to provide support in these areas.
We have suspended all mission tours and events for external visitors until further notice and have redirected mission donations to external drop boxes conveniently located at various locations around the city.
We have added to our daily cleaning schedule to ensure frequented areas around the Mission remain clean following CDC guidelines.
We have gone to almost all food being pre-prepped and pre-packaged, and eliminated buffets and salad bars.
We have temporarily shifted to using paper and plastic bowls, plates, cups and utensils.
We are encouraging social distancing throughout the Mission by placing tape in our hallways to show a safe distance to stand from one another and by limiting how many people can eat around a table together. The Grand Rapids Fire Department helped build structures to separate guests who are normally in close quarters to ensure they're all sleeping a safe distance apart.
Not all agencies are remaining open during this time. We are seeing an increase in the number of people seeking a safe place to sleep at the Mission. Remaining open means added costs for supplies, food, and temporary staffing. In March, our expenses increased by $95,000. During this time, we invite you to show the compassion of Christ to the vulnerable population we serve by providing extra resources or giving financially.
April 3 - We devised, created, and in some cases, physically built separate spaces for our guests, so they can remain safe. A third-party cleaning company is bio-fogging throughout our facility on an ongoing basis and we have purchased bleach, disinfectant and cleaning supplies in bulk.
March 23 - Governor Whitmer issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order. This will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 24.
Under this order people can leave their homes for certain reasons:
- To purchase groceries, take-out food, fuel and medical supplies;
- To work or volunteer for organizations that provide food or shelter;
- To participate in outdoor activities;
- To complete tasks necessary to providing life-sustaining health and safety.
Mel Trotter Ministries falls within the following two exemptions of the order and will remain open to serve the vulnerable population experiencing homelessness:
- Section (7) (a) (11): To work or volunteer for businesses or operations (including both and religious and secular nonprofit organizations) that provide food, shelter, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, individuals who need assistance as a result of this emergency, and people with disabilities.
- Section (9) (d): Workers and volunteers for businesses or operations (including both and religious and secular nonprofit organizations) that provide food, shelter, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, individuals who need assistance as a result of this emergency, and people with disabilities.
March 20 - Mel Trotter Ministries and Family Promise made the joint decision to move families residing at MTM into local hotels to ensure their health and safety. These families are all part of the Pathway Home program, a collaboration between Family Promise and Mel Trotter Ministries. Family Promise will continue offering advocacy and case management to these guests while they’re temporarily staying in hotels.
With families transitioning out of MTM for the time being, MTM will be able to keep guests and staff safe by reducing the number of people in all areas around the Mission. We are partnering with state and local agencies to make sure we’re following the most up-to-date guidelines regarding social distancing.
At this time, Mel Trotter has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. Any confirmed or suspected cases will be cared for by local hospitals and the Kent County Health Department. We will work with local officials and do everything we can to make sure they do not return to Mel Trotter until they are deemed safe by doctors and the health department.
Finally, in the spirit of taking extra precautionary social distancing measures for the safety of MTM guests, staff and thrift store community, it has been decided that Mel Trotter Ministries Thrift Stores will be closed until further notice. We will continue to receive donations in our many drop boxes located throughout Grand Rapids. For updated information, visit at www.mtmthrift.com.
We ask you to please consider giving during these challenging times. Your financial support will meet the imperative needs of the Mission including extra food, medicine and shelter.
We have an urgent need for the following cleaning supplies:
- Hand sanitizer (60% alcohol)
- N95 Face masks
- Clorox disinfectant wipes
- Lysol disinfectant spray
- Liquid hand soap
- Rubber gloves
- Plastic aprons
- 60 Gallon Trash Bags
- Bottled Water
- Cold Medicine
We have an urgent need for these in-kind donations:
- Pillow cases
- Twin size bed sheets
- Blankets 100% cotton
- Toilet Paper
- Men’s and Women’s Underwear (all sizes)
- Bath towels
- Wash clothes
If you have any connection to suppliers that can provide these items in bulk or if you want to donate any of these items yourself, please contact Jeff Dashner at 616-588-8786 or .