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's Story

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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.

“I looked in the mirror and said ‘If you don’t stop, you’ll die,” he recalls. “If I wasn’t here, I don’t know where I’d be. I was well on my way to death or living on the streets.”

Spenser started smoking weed at age 14, moving easily into abusing alcohol and drugs and eventually to dealing drugs. He was never arrested, never received a DUI or had brushes with the law, a fact he considers a miracle.

“I battled with alcohol and drugs. I found myself lost and didn’t take care of myself,” he says. “I had several close calls—I could have easily overdosed and I drove drunk a lot. I’m thankful I didn’t kill or hurt anyone, but I had to come to grips with the fact that I supplied drugs to kids and adults and helped feed their addictions. I battled a lot of demons.”

A close family friend works at Mel Trotter Ministries, so when Spenser sought help she recommended MTM. He was accepted into the Step-Up inpatient program and moved from his suburban Grand Rapids home into the downtown ministry.

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“I was terrified and nervous when I came in, but I’ve made great friends. And Mel Trotter helped me find myself again,” Spenser said. “I’ve learned so much about myself and I owe it all to this place. I’ve learned how much I like seeing and helping people grow.”

His life is completely different now and headed in a new direction. After graduation from Step-Up, he’ll continue outpatient therapies. He is enrolled in Cornerstone University’s PGS program and will work toward a degree in Human Services. Ultimately, he says, he’d like to work somehow with recovery.

Mel Trotter Ministries, says Spenser Rolls, is the perfect place for people who really want to change thanks to its many programs and staff. The staff knows his name, he knows them, and has also gotten to know many of the long- and short-term guests.

“At the end of the day, they’re my family. Mel Trotter Ministries really does make miracles happen,” Spenser says. “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.”

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