GRAND RAPIDS — Faith-based homeless shelter Mel Trotter Ministries has raised $9.8 million so far as part of a nearly $15 million capital campaign to upgrade and expand housing resources and bolster its workforce development program.
Nonprofit officials today formally launched the “Immeasurably More” campaign, which was initiated roughly a year ago at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic that has exacerbated homelessness and economic instability.
“Job loss, medical diagnosis, addiction, foreclosure, generational poverty — and that was before the pandemic,” Mel Trotter Board Chair Bob Worthington said during a Friday morning press conference. “COVID has just complicated things that much more.”
Worthington said the campaign has three main pillars: renovating Mel Trotter’s men’s shelter, acquiring more transitional housing, and providing job training programs “that reflect the current job market.”
Mel Trotter’s shelters have been at full capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic and are in major need of upgrades, officials said, adding that the crowding makes it difficult to serve new people seeking help.
The $14.9 million campaign received initial support from the David and Carol Van Andel Family Foundation and the Meijer Foundation.
Mel Trotter President and CEO Dennis Van Kampen said the organization will continue to rely on partnerships with other local nonprofits to provide food and shelter resources.
In 2020, Mel Trotter acquired Heartside Ministry and Next Step of West Michigan as part of a longer term plan to reduce duplicate homeless and job training services, as MiBiz previously reported.
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