Mel Trotter needs beds for influx of homeless women

The emergency shelter has seen a 40% spike in homeless women.

Author: Angela Cunningham
Published: 5:08 AM EDT October 14, 2019
Updated: 6:42 AM EDT October 14, 2019

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Mel Trotter continues to wage its own fight against homelessness and is asking for the community's help. The nonprofit has seen a drastic spike in the number of single women seeking emergency shelter.

Abbey Sladick, vice president of communication, says the organization "has experienced a 40% increase of single women seeking emergency shelter over the last year. In addition to youth and family homelessness, single women are one of the fastest-growing homeless populations in greater Grand Rapids."

Homelessness is nothing new in West Michigan. Despite the vigorous efforts of organizations like Mel Trotter, homeless numbers are on the rise across the board. The influx of women simply adds to the continuous demand to provide warm and safe emergency shelter to those that need it.

"Many of the women seeking shelter are living with mental illness or are survivors of domestic violence or other traumatic situations," says Sladick. "Typically, the 25 beds designated for single women at Mel Trotter Ministries are enough to accommodate the need."

However, that is not the case now. Sladick says they have been using an overflow gym with mattresses placed on the floor. As the colder weather draws near, so does the need to do something different.

Mel Trotter Ministries is asking the community to join its effort to raise $25,000 by Oct. 31. Sladick says the funds will help build and purchase custom wooden beds, replace old mattresses and supply new linens and pillows.

Donations can be made at


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