Mel Trotter Ministries partners to reach homeless neighbors during heat wave

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (July 18, 2019) — As temperatures rise through the end of this week and into the weekend, Mel Trotter Ministries is partnering with other agencies that are serving people experiencing homelessness to make sure anyone who is ready to accept help has a safe place to get out of the heat. Partners include Pine Rest Street Reach, GRPD, the Heartside Neighborhood Collaboration Project and others.

When the heat and humidity rise to dangerous levels, Mel Trotter Ministries goes into a “Code Red” policy which extends extra grace and support to individuals and families who are in crisis. This policy includes:

  • 24 hours of cooling center options inside the building
  • Cold water at every entrance
  • On-site medical staff to assess for heat related illness
  • Lifted curfew times, access to evening shelter earlier than the normal schedule
  • Removing previous restrictions to enter shelter for people who have violated rules
  • A team conducting outreach to people who are living in camps, bridges, and other areas of the city and offering them food, water and cold towels and transportation back to the Mission.

Various cooling centers have been identified throughout the city, including at Mel Trotter Ministries | View complete cooling center list.

“The MTM team is going out to those who are in need, offering rides to the Mission and also handing out food, water, cold towels and other resources to those in need,” said Dennis Van Kampen, CEO of Mel Trotter Ministries. “For more than 119 years, Mel Trotter Ministries has existed to demonstrate the compassion of Jesus Christ to anyone experiencing hunger and homelessness. Jesus spoke about the blessing of giving a cup of cold water in his name to those in greatest need. His example is what continues to inspire our work.”

Mel Trotter Ministries offers many programs and services beyond emergency care, including job readiness, housing readiness, addiction recovery, rental housing, spiritual care, dental, vision, medical, chiropractic and legal services.

To schedule interviews, please contact Abbey Sladick at or 616-901-8146.

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