Mel Trotter remains open during COVID-19 crisis to provide service to those in need

by: Adrienne Goodstal, Mel Trotter Ministries
Posted: Apr 23, 2020 / 04:43 PM EDT Updated: Apr 24, 2020 / 03:41 PM EDTT


Mel Trotter Ministries will remain open and continue to provide a constant safety net to the vulnerable population we serve. 

Here’s what we’re doing to protect the most vulnerable individuals of our community:

  • We have temporarily suspended volunteer opportunities, however, this does not include volunteers aligned with professional services. We have a need for medically trained volunteers to support our nursing staff and volunteers trained in safety and security to support the MTM security team. We are seeking partnerships with local restaurants to supplement our food services team. Please contact Dawn Kaltenberg-VanHorn at 616-588-8723 or , if you are able to provide professional volunteer services.
  • We have suspended all mission tours and events for external visitors until further notice and have redirected mission donations to external drop boxes conveniently located at various locations around the city.
  • We have added to our daily cleaning schedule to ensure frequented areas around the Mission remain clean following CDC guidelines
  • We have gone to almost all food being pre-prepped and pre-packaged, and eliminated buffets and salad bars.
  • We have temporarily shifted to using paper and plastic bowls, plates, cups and utensils.

On 3/20/2020, Mel Trotter Ministries and Family Promise made the joint decision to move families residing at MTM into local hotels to ensure their health and safety. These families are all part of the Pathway Home program, a collaboration between Family Promise and Mel Trotter Ministries. Family Promise will continue offering advocacy and case management to these guests while they’re temporarily staying in hotels.

With families transitioning out of MTM for the time being, MTM will be able to keep guests and staff safe by reducing the number of people in all areas around the Mission. We are partnering with state and local agencies to make sure we’re following the most up-to-date guidelines regarding social distancing.

At this time, Mel Trotter has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. Any confirmed or suspected cases will be cared for by local hospitals and the Kent County Health Department. We will work with local officials and do everything we can to make sure they do not return to Mel Trotter until they are deemed safe by doctors and the health department.

Finally, in the spirit of taking extra precautionary social distancing measures for the safety of MTM guests, staff and thrift store community, it has been decided that Mel Trotter Ministries Thrift Stores will be closed until March 28. We will continue to receive donations in our many drop boxes located throughout Grand Rapids.


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