Mel Trotter Ministries Opens Capital Campaign to Raise $14.9 Million

This campaign will change the way we serve by providing more dignity, value and opportunities.

Thanks to supporters like you, Mel Trotter Ministries is always about helping men, women, and children experiencing homelessness in West Michigan. We believe that homelessness is a season in a person’s life, but doesn’t define who they are. We believe they are made for more. And Mel Trotter Ministries takes this to heart.

We are launching our capital campaign—titled Immeasurably More—to allow us to do even more to help those who face homelessness.

The $14.9 million campaign, in conjunction with Heartside Ministry and Next Step of West Michigan, has a four-fold goal: to update shelter space to provide greater dignity, value, and safety for guests; offer paid job training and social enterprise opportunities; create more affordable housing for those on the journey out of homelessness; and improve ministry and case management for every guest.

The goal is to raise $11,150,000 in charitable gifts from the community and see an additional $3,750,000 in federal loans and tax credits. A portion of the funds will go to helping guests gain skills to take into employment and offer guests a broader path out of homelessness through more affordable housing. Job skills and affordable housing are key pieces of MTM’s goal to reduce homelessness one life at a time.

Monies also will be used to expand and improve MTM’s medical and dental offices, renovate the chapel, create space for an art studio and GED programming, and refurbish and expand the public inebriate center and the detox center.

Richard Craig, owner of Craig Architects, is planning the renovations that will include a new entrance area to handle six to eight people at a time with “furnishings more hotel than homeless shelter,” he said. Work could begin on phase one of the renovations as early as late June 2021.

Craig is also planning the revamped second- and third-floor men’s shelter space, moving away from large rooms with many bunk beds to two-person rooms with two rooms sharing one bathroom.

“We’ll be doing some engineering and filtering to keep germs at bay that come with close contact, as well as working on laundry rooms, showers, and day rooms,” said Craig, who has worked with Mel Trotter Ministries as architect and also board member for almost 30 years.

Anedra Eatman is a co-chair, with three others, of the Immeasurably More campaign and has been on the Mel Trotter Ministries board for two years. “I grew up understanding the importance of service. MTM focuses on ministry and that speaks to being there for the community. Their location in the heart of the city speaks to serving that community.”

Eatman, who is vice president of human resources and customer experience for TGG Solutions, was born and raised in Grand Rapids. She’s a proud graduate of Grand Rapids Central High School, Davenport University, and Cornerstone University’s PGS program. “I’ve always looked at the guests at Mel Trotter as individuals. These people have struggles like all of us do, and Mel Trotter Ministries is willing to put their yes out front and make people who are uncomfortable comfortable.”

Leonard McElveen, vice president of ministry at Mel Trotter Ministries, sees compassion as more than just an act such as providing meals. He sees it as an environment, a space that provides safety, dignity, and growth.

“The campaign will help us change the face of homelessness and help us lead the community in solving homelessness,” said McElveen. “By treating our space like home, we can begin to teach home-building skills. When we improve this facility, it will improve outcomes for our guests. Our building is a critical part of that because it’s the first place we say, ‘Welcome and we love you.’”

We believe with the right approach, the right partners, and the right commitment, we can significantly reduce homelessness in our community. If God is calling you to join us in doing immeasurably more, visit www.meltrotter.org/capitalcampaign.

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