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I pray this message finds you well as we mark the end of the first quarter and the arrival of springlike weather. Spring is a season where I particularly feel God’s grace all around us. With signs of growth everywhere you look, this time of year is often associated with renewal and hope.

Sadly, for many of our guests, this season of hope is often overshadowed by hunger, homelessness, and despair. At Mel Trotter Ministries, we exist to be a source of stability and compassion when one of our neighbors feels hopeless. With your support, our hurting brothers and sisters have a place to go during these times of despair.

I encourage you to keep reading for a brief overview of how God was working in and through Mel Trotter Ministries in the first quarter of 2024, as well as a few notes about the future.

 Q1 By the Numbers

As we look back at the first quarter, it is clear the need in West Michigan continues to grow. We saw 2,110 individuals and families walk through our doors. We served 41,524 meals to our hungry neighbors. Yet in the midst of increasing hardship in our community, God has been at work in powerful ways. So far this year, we helped 27 families avoid homelessness through our prevention and diversion services. 105 individuals have moved into stable housing, which is a pace of 420 for the year. In addition, 133 individuals have already secured stable employment. We are glorifying God for his faithfulness—in every season—in the lives of this ministry and our guests.

One Life at a Time

A powerful praise report recently came across my desk that I wanted to share with you. Tom came to Mel Trotter Ministries last year, struggling with substance abuse and jumping from job to job. He had just lost a job and was spiraling into depression. Our case manager began working with Tom to rebuild his self-esteem and help him work through some past trauma. While staying at the Mission, Tom graduated from our workforce development program, started to save, and focused on improving his mental health. Not long ago, Tom successfully moved out of the Mission and into transitional housing. Praise the Lord!

Inflation, Inflation, Inflation

Inflation is an ongoing challenge that shows no sign of slowing down, both on a national and local level. Here in West Michigan, an increasing number of individuals and families are struggling to stay in their homes and afford the basic necessities of life—and they are turning to us for help. At the same time, expenses to operate the Mission are not immune from inflationary pressures. The bottom line is that it has never cost more to feed, shelter, and offer Christ-centered care to our guests than it does right now. The hard truth is that our donations, while steady compared to most non-profits, are still not keeping pace with rising inflation and the rising need. Your continued support is crucial to help us mitigate the impacts of inflation.

CEO Search Update

The nationwide search for our next CEO continues to make promising progress. The executive search firm that we hired, Carter Baldwin, has identified over a hundred of highly qualified candidates and is narrowing down the list as we speak. Once they condense the list down to a smaller number, we will begin conducting interviews with the top finalists in the coming months. Stay tuned for additional updates as we move forward and get closer to making a decision. Most of all, we value your prayers as we navigate this time of transition, putting our full trust in God’s faithfulness.

Once again, thank you for partnering with us and making all of this work possible. For 124 years, Mel Trotter Ministries has demonstrated the compassion of Christ to the hungry and hurting in our community, and it is because of the generosity of friends like you that this legacy has endured to this day.

God Bless,

Gordon Oosting
CFO/Interim CEO

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