GR shelter sees 40% increase in single women needing help

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Mel Trotter Ministries has experienced a 40 percent increase of single women seeking emergency shelter over the last year. In addition to youth and family homelessness, single women are one of the fastest growing homeless populations in greater Grand Rapids.

Many of the women seeking shelter are living with mental illness or are survivors of domestic violence or other traumatic situations.

Typically, the 25 beds designated for single women at Mel Trotter Ministries are enough to accommodate the need, however, in an effort not to turn anyone away, Mel Trotter has been using an overflow gym with mattresses placed on the floor.

The need for more beds will be even more significant as the weather turns colder and Mel Trotter serves upwards of 500 men, women and children each night in winter.

Mel Trotter Ministries is asking for community support to raise $25,000 by October 31. The funds will help build and purchase custom wooden beds, replace old mattresses, and supply new linens and pillows.

“It is difficult for a woman who is suffering to hear that they are made in the image of God and believe that they are loved and valued while sleeping on a mattress on the cold the floor,” said Dennis Van Kampen, CEO of Mel Trotter Ministries. “As winter approaches, we believe our sisters in Christ deserve more dignity and we’re asking our generous community to join us in this effort.”

Next Step of West Michigan – a nonprofit that provides work for individuals coming out of prison and rehab – has taken on the project of building 54 beds for the Mission. The beds will be delivered to the Mission at the end of October.

“All of us at Next Step are thankful for the good work Mel Trotter is doing in our community,” said Scott Jonkhoff, Founding Director. “The opportunity to build bunks beds for the women’s shelter is a great encouragement to us and we pray for those who will use these beds, that they may find rest for both body and soul.”

Donations can be made at

Any money raised beyond the designated goal will help replace and upgrade other beds throughout the Mission and support operations and expenses for the Mission.

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  • Augster

    What a convenient time to have pissed off a bunch of us donors earlier this year with your words, Van Kampen! I wouldn’t give you even a fish to eat for a day. Have a nice winter😉

    • lml25

      What did he say,Augster?
      Secondly,this goes to show the type of people Grand Rapids is attracting with its diversity plan.VERY low income,government dependent,non tax paying,mentally ill,criminally inclined etc etc.It’s only going to get worse.Bliss said yesterday,”diversity is a blessing to our city.”Sure,if you ignore the murders,non-fatal shootings,drug dealing,overdoses,prostitution and robberies of gun and telephone stores.That–and homeless people–are what you get with
      the liberal diversity plan.Apartments are being built for them all over the city,while the high income tax base lives out of town.Idiotic isn’t it?

      • Augster

        I can’t find the story in the FOX17 archives, but the day after the Trump rally in GR, he made a statement to this network that the line for the rally went past his shelter and the supporters were vile and rude to the poor, desperate people seeking services. NO ONE could bear witness to corroborate his story. I can only believe he’s a political hack like so many other leaders of organizations that are supposed to be unbiased. At least two other people I know scratched him off their charity list.

  • Ej

    With all the money spent and donated to this city over the decades could have transformed more then one EMPTY building into shelters for the homeless. Welcome to the strong city initiative implemented by the U.N. And rolled out by Obama. On the surface it’s supposed to be about law enforcement connections but in reality it’s about the progressives taking all cities and turning them into what GR is becoming.

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