Lisa's Story

Lisa 1

“THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING,” LISA THOUGHT as she walked from the bus station to Mel Trotter Ministries last December. She had never pictured herself walking down the road with her suitcase in a strange city.  

Over the following months, Lisa put 30 years of drug and alcohol addiction behind her. However, when she graduated from MTM’s Step-Up Recovery and Restoration Program, she found that finding a place to live wasn’t going to be easy. 

Program Director Erika Mariglia explained that Lisa’s dilemma wasn’t an isolated case among Mel Trotter’s women graduates. “Many have evictions on their records. Some have a criminal record as well, which makes it nearly impossible to get housing in this economy.”

TO MEET THESE WOMEN’S NEEDS, Mel Trotter partnered with a local private landlord to establish the Melanie House, a transitional home that allows women to build credit and rental histories while continuing to receive case management and develop job skills. “This is a continuum of care where we can follow them into housing and make sure that they’re still meeting their goals,” Erika said.  

The Melanie House is a place I could call my own.
Lisa 4

Lisa is one of three women living in the Melanie House. As the resident assistant, she provides emotional support and peer leadership for the other women and acts as a liaison between the house and MTM staff. 

MORE THAN A TRANSITIONAL RESIDENCE, though, the Melanie House is a home. “The day I moved in was unbelievable. The beds, the furniture, the beautiful scripture on the walls, it’s very homey. It’s a place I could call my own,” Lisa told us. 

If you were wondering where the name “Melanie House” came from, it’s inspired by our founder Mel Trotter, of course! CEO Dennis Van Kampen speculates that you never know where the next Mel (or Melanie) Trotter is going to come from. Erika continued, “We hope that somebody who comes through here isn’t just going to be impacted, but go on to impact others as well.”

Posted: September, 2018

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