stories of compassion
Hester was born and raised in Grand Rapids. He’s always been a hard worker but found himself struggling to stay sheltered in recent years.
Reflecting on what led to his personal housing crisis, Hester can see a pattern of ill-intentioned people taking advantage of his generosity and desire to care for others. Multiple times, he lived with so called friends who squandered the rent he paid them, leaving them both unexpectedly homeless.
“Mel Trotter is a great steppingstone,” says Hester, noting that the resources he’s received combined with the positive influence of the Mel Trotter team have helped put his dream of having his own apartment within reach.
DeMario arrived in Grand Rapids by bus from Memphis, Tennessee, with no one and no place to welcome him.
Before he left Memphis, DeMario says, “I asked the good Lord to be with me and lead me on the right path.”
“When your life is going great, it’s easy to believe and to have faith and say, ‘God loves me, and I love God,’” Paul shares. “When everything’s turned upside down, you ask, ‘Where’s God in all this?’”
In Paul’s complete brokenness, he was offered hope and restoration
Charlyne’s journey started in March 2017 when the State of Michigan took guardianship of her daughter. She was homeless after leaving a domestic violence situation. “I hit rock bottom but I never gave up. I try to say that to everyone I meet—to never give up," Charlyne said.
Spenser Rolls at age 23 is a young man with insight that seems beyond his years. He was the youngest person in the Mel Trotter Ministries’ Step-Up Recovery program when he entered in late 2020, a broken man who knew he needed help. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I was afraid to take this step but I’m glad I did. My life has completely changed," Spenser says.
Alvin and Victoria's Story
When Alvin made the decision to complete his education, he and Victoria went to Heartside Ministry, a division of MTM that offers a GED program.
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. His business floundered and eventually died, he faced homelessness because his medical bills and mortgage payments kept piling up and a job was hard to find thanks to his criminal record.
"The Lord is guiding me and showing me his path. I can’t say enough about what he’s already done for me.”
Board Spotlight: Jim's Story
Jim Kregel’s history with Mel Trotter Ministries goes back a generation. His father Robert, who started Kregel Publications in 1939, knew Mel Trotter himself and served on the board for MTM for years. In fact, Jim recalls his father coming home and telling him he found Mr. Trotter crying in his office one day because his dog had died.
MiChelle dreams of having her own home one day, living on her own, and giving back to the community.
“I want to mentor, tell my story, and if I can, help somebody get closer to God,” she said. “I had never prayed before, but God knows my heart and he knows what I’m trying to say. I just ask him to teach me.”