GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Mel Trotter Ministries will spend $14.9 million to improve its downtown Grand Rapids shelter and expand its other programs aiming to help people out of homelessness.

Mel Trotter President and CEO Dennis Van Kampen said the renovation of the men’s shelter is long overdue.

“Nothing has been done for 54 years,” he said, “and it is a building that has large dorms that are not dignified, they’re not always safe. Part of this campaign will transform the entire building to include almost like college-style dorms where two people share a room, another two people share a room and then those four together share a bathroom. And we know — because we’ve done something similar on our women and families side — we know that when you provide that kind of dignity and value, the guests that we serve start dreaming about a different life.”

The projects will also include offering more traditional housing and paid job training, as well as social enterprise opportunities.

“This is a campaign that we believe, along with our partners, will actually turn the needle on homelessness and help us go from a community where homelessness is significantly increasing to a community where it will go down and we will be able to get more people housed,” Van Kampen said.

The improvements are funded by the Immeasurably More campaign, which is funded through charity, tax credits and federal home loans.