Whose life could we save together this winter?
During the cold winter months, Mel Trotter Ministries is in “Code Blue” status which is a term used to describe the most extreme winter conditions in West Michigan, when temperatures fall significantly and stay below freezing over a period of time — Putting men, women and children who are exposed to the elements at severe risk of hypothermia, frost bite, or even death.
Now that you know Mel Trotter is in “Code Blue” what can you do to help someone experiencing homelessness during these cold winter months?
Everybody can do something.
If you see someone who you think might be living outside, let them know you care and encourage them to seek shelter at Mel Trotter Ministries or another local agency. Don’t leave someone alone. You can call GRPD (or your local police department) to help with transportation to a safe place: 616-456-3400.
There’s so much more to the story of every person than what we see on the outside. Especially during the winter months, it's not the time for us to make assumptions about whether someone deserves help or not. It's time to make sure the person you encounter doesn’t die on the streets. Show love, compassion and empathy. See your neighbor, brother or sister in them.
You can also keep hand warmers, socks and gloves with you or in your car to hand out to people experiencing homelessness. This small gesture can save someone from suffering from frostbite or hypothermia. Special hand warmers with listed resources on them can also be picked up in the lobby at Mel Trotter Ministries. (Available while supplies last.)
Know your response.
There are nine different Heartside Warming Centers to make sure everyone has a place to stay warm this winter. Mel Trotter also has nurses on staff to care for people who come to the Mission that are severely intoxicated.
Our warming center hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Emergency shelter hours are 4 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily. The usual curfew time is lifted so that guests can access emergency shelter any time of the night. We welcome all single men and women in need. (Individuals who have been barred are welcome but there will be specific rules in place to ensure the safety of everyone.)
Instead of giving spare change, invest in life-change.
While giving money to someone standing on a street corner is kind, it’s not likely to help end their poverty. Investing in organizations that walk alongside people to address their barriers and give them the tools and support they need to secure sustainable housing, financial stability and community is the best way to ensure someone has long-term support. Help someone write a new chapter to their story.
Turn your passion into action. Walk alongside someone who is struggling with homelessness by getting to know them, get your family or church involved, host a drive with your church or business. Whatever your talents are, they can be used to help end someone’s homelessness. Please keep the ministry in your prayers.