GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A local homeless shelter is becoming more energy efficient, and it's helping more than just their bottom line.
Consumers Energy helped Mel Trotter Ministries in Grand Rapids change out more than two thousand incandescent and florescent light bulbs in the fall and winter of 2017. It's all part of Consumers' energy efficiency initiative.
The old light bulbs were replaced by LED bulbs, which use 90 percent less energy. This translates to a cost savings of around 13 thousand dollars per year, which is about what it costs to put one homeless person through the restoration program at Mel Trotter. The program helps people get into a stable housing and financial situation.
Jeffrey Wyatt is in the restoration program at Mel Trotter. He's from Grand Rapids originally, but lived in Houston for about two and a half years, ending in August 2017. He returned to Grand Rapids at that time to meet his new granddaughter. A day after his arrival, Hurricane Harvey hit his home in Houston.
Jeffrey decided to stay in Grand Rapids, and Mel Trotter is making this possible. He hopes to be in permanent supportive housing by the end of this summer. "I just gotta, you know, put my nose to the grindstone. And wait my turn," he said.
Neck and hand injuries prevent Jeffrey from working, but he is active with Mel Trotter as a volunteer. When his time at the ministry is over, he hopes to spend more time with his granddaughter and the rest of his family.