Sidney once had it all— a successful flooring business with a fleet of vehicles, a six-figure salary, a home in a gated community, a beautiful wife— and had even served as a chaplain at a nonprofit helping people in need. He lost everything, however, when a serious injury sidelined him for two years and started him on a path to nowhere.

“But sometimes my plans are not God’s plans,” said Sidney. “Later I found myself in need. My calling to help those in need was reaffirmed after witnessing the level of care and compassion I received at Mel Trotter Ministries.”

Download a copy of our recent MTM Newsletter to read about how Sidney reclaimed his life. 

Mission Update

Building

Mel Trotter Ministries opens capital campaign to raise $14.9 million.

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.

We believe with the right approach, the right partners, and the right commitment, we significantly reduce homelessness in our community.

Events & Announcements

KABOOM! Playground Build: August 9 – 13, 2021

We are transforming the park across the street from MTM! In partnership with KABOOM!, Amway, Tracy Breihof, in memory of Thomas Breihof, and Junior League of Grand Rapids, we have worked with the kids and families staying at Mel Trotter to design, and now build, an incredible playspace. Email Dawn at to volunteer. Space is limited.

ArtPrize: September 16 – October 3, 2021

The park at MTM on Commerce Avenue will be an ArtPrize venue that walks you through stories of homelessness. We hope this experience will break down walls and stereotypes.

Season of Hope: October 14 , 2021

Our annual Season of Hope event at Amway Grand Plaza will be a night to remember. Paula Jauch, award-winning author and speaker, will share her story as a trauma survivor, and someone who now seeks to help others healing from trauma and brokenness. You will also hear several of our guests share their stories– stories that speak to the hope that often comes after a season of despair. Save the date.

Volunteer to Help a Neighbor

Join the Mel Trotter Ministries team of volunteers and help vulnerable neighbors, one life at a time, overcome homelessness. Here are some ways you can volunteer:

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Outreach Team

Join the outreach team in building relationships and providing basic needs and meals to those who are unsheltered in our community. This role includes riding in the van to various encampments and locations around the city, building relationships and handing out basic needs to the individuals we encounter. Other opportunities are in helping with the Mobile Shower Unit where we provide a hot shower for those who are in need. This includes helping with set up, tear down, handing out towels and hygiene kits, as well as building relationships.

Opportunity is available to: 1-2 people per shift.
Opportunity is available: weekdays, a three hour commitment is required.

We are looking for volunteers to join our team on a consistent basis.

Donation Room

Mel Trotter has been incredibly blessed by the generosity of the community and is looking for volunteers to organize, sort and clean the donation room. This role includes moving and lifting heavy boxes, sweeping and closely looking at donations for quality.

Opportunity is available to: groups and individuals.
Opportunity is available: weekdays, a three hour commitment is required.

For more information about these opportunities, or to sign up, please visit us at meltrotter.org/volunteer.

Become a Friend

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Put your concern for those experiencing hunger and homelessness into action every single month as a Friend of Mel Trotter. When you commit to monthly support as a recurring donor, your dollars go even further to reach those in need in greater Grand Rapids.

Here’s a quick glimpse of how you can increase your impact to reach those in need:

• $25 a month provides 12 hearty meals.
• $50 a month provides 3 hours of life-changing advocacy and ministry.
• $100 a month provides 1 full day of meals, advocacy and ministry.

Become a friend to help us plan ahead for the services we can offer and how many people we can impact. Your ongoing support will make a big difference for those who are in great need. For more information, go to meltrotter.org/friend.

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