Mel Trotter celebrates start of renovations to shelter

Grand Rapids

A wall-breaking ceremony to mark the start of renovations at Mel Trotter Ministries in Grand Rapids. (Aug. 3, 2021)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Leaders at Mel Trotter Ministries took a hammer to a wall Tuesday morning to symbolize the start of a massive renovation to the homeless shelter in Grand Rapids’ Heartside neighborhood.

Mel Trotter is working to raise $14.9 million to renovate the shelter and expand programs. The upgraded shelter will have a dorm-like layout, with two people to a room and two rooms sharing a bathroom. It will house youths and men, accommodate those who are transgender, and include expanded medical clinics.

Officials say the improvements represent their commitment to some of the most vulnerable in our community.

“This is a community that says, ‘We believe we should help everyone: we should help people in poverty, we should people experiencing homelessness and demonstrate the compassion of Christ,” Mel Trotter Ministries President and CEO Dennis Van Kampen said.

So far, officials said, some 1,500 people, businesses and foundations have contributed $11.4 million to the Immeasurably More campaign.

The construction project is expected to take 18 months.

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