Charlyne smiled at every person who came through her line for COVID-19 screening and testing at Mel Trotter Ministries. She chatted with each one, asked how they were doing, did her best to make everyone feel at ease and cared for.
Doing so is her job as a patient service representative for Binson Nursing and Staffing, but it’s also because she knows and loves Mel Trotter Ministries. She has felt the warmth of this place, been helped by the staff, and found peace and freedom through the programs offered here on her journey to finding a permanent home.
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. She stayed on and off with her mother, but butted heads with her mom’s husband. She occasionally slept in her car to avoid that bad situation.
She worked with Bethany Christian Services and Family Promise, getting to have her daughter live with her and securing a trailer. But circumstances changed and Charlyne lost the trailer and began living in a shelter through the Salvation Army. She was back to staying in her car or with her mom after leaving the shelter. She eventually landed at Mel Trotter Ministries, where she found “tranquility, seeing little by little everything was going to work out for me.”
I hit rock bottom but I never gave up. I try to say that to everyone I meet—to never give up.
She left Mel Trotter, eventually moving into an apartment with help from another program in 2020. When she saw Binson was hiring, she quickly applied and got the job. “When I realized they were working with Mel Trotter, Heartside and Dégagé, I talked to whoever I could to ask if I could work in the shelters,” she said. “They helped me out so much, so I thought why not try to give back. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.”
She credits Mel Trotter Ministries with helping her begin to rebuild her life. The ministry helped provide resources to connect with food pantries, low-income apartments, postage to mail employment applications, computer access to update her resume, and more. She dreams of pursing a degree in nursing and has added a second daughter to her little family. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she visited MTM every two weeks to help with testing and screening.
“Consistency is so important, getting to see the same person every other week. I love to interact with everyone at Mel Trotter. This makes me happy,” said Charlyne with a smile. “I hit rock bottom but I never gave up. I try to say that to everyone I meet—to never give up.”