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Mel Trotter and City of Grand Rapids partner to create daytime storage for people experiencing homelessness

October 26, 2022

By: FOX 17 West MI

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Six months ago, Mel Trotter Ministries, in partnership with the City of Grand Rapids, started doing something new.

They started storing the belongings of people experiencing homelessness during the day.

From 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at 200 Division, people can access their belongings, stored in clean recycling and trash bins provided by the city. It’s free.

Most of the stuff people store is clothing, and Mel Trotter says the benefit is two-fold. People’s stuff is safe, and not out on the streets.

Mel Trotter admits they wish none of the totes said “refuse” on the side, because the things inside them are not trash, not even close.

“Everything they have to their name is with them,” Mel Trotter intake specialist Treyonna Urquart said.

But when it came down to it, Mel Trotter decided the need was there. And waiting around to provide the perfect storage device was less important than reaching people who needed a place to keep their things safe.

“What we have heard, is people feel more safe and secure knowing their belongings are safe and secure,” Mel Trotter Chief Advancement Officer Beth Fisher said.

That feeling of security is one Mel Trotter says they work to provide throughout the community. At first, they ran out of storage bins. To them, that only shows they were on the right track.

Mel Trotter says they plan to expand the bins beyond their Division Street location. Currently, 19 bins are available to be checked out. If someone storing items does not check out their bin for 21 days, they clear the space out for another person to use.

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