Mel Trotter: A Haven for Hope

Mel TrotterOn February 24th, Mel Trotter started Mel Trotter Ministries on Canal Street in Grand Rapids after a decade of struggling with gambling and alcohol himself. After over a century of service, Mel Trotter Ministries is committed to helping those in need with wide ranging services available to the community. The main goal of the ministry is to demonstrate the compassion of Jesus Christ to the hungry, homeless, and hurting.


Mel Trotter provides nourishing evening meals every night. They have separate dining halls for men and women. The men eat every night from 4:30-5:45 while the women and children eat in their own dining hall starting at 5pm. Over 129,000 hot meals have been served in 2014.

Mel Trotter food pantry
Mel Trotter food pantry


Not only does Mel Trotter provide nightly meals, but they have their own food pantry where needy families can “shop” at twice per month. The food pantry is stocked with healthy food options and is a very helpful resource!


Food isn’t where the mission starts and ends. No, Mel Trotter is a haven for those in need. There are shelter centers for the men and the women and children. These shelters provide a night in a warm bed, showers, clothes, and toiletries. There have been over 71,000 bed nights for men, women, and children this year alone!


Mel Trotter also offers a place where public inebriates can be brought for safe shelter and medical support. Since public intoxication is no longer a crime, if a police officer finds a public inebriate they have a couple choices they can make. The officer can leave them where they found them, bring the inebriated individual to the ER, or bring them to Mel Trotter. The cost of paying for an individual in the Public Inebriation Shelter at Mel Trotter costs $146 instead of the $700+ it would cost at the ER.

Mel Trotter dining room. Over 129,000 hot meals served in 2014!
Mel Trotter dining room. Over 129,000 hot meals served in 2014!


While Mel Trotter offers safe food and shelter for the homeless, it also sets people up for success and getting their life on track. In 2014, Mel Trotter has assisted with 162 families finding permanent housing, 99 individuals securing jobs, and provided low-cost transportation for 286 people through their vehicle donation and resale program.


The hungry, hurting, and homeless are all thankful for what Mel Trotter offers, but without volunteers and donations, Mel Trotter would struggle to offer its services. This Christmas season, give back to those who are less fortunate. Volunteer your time or see what donations you can make to help! Visit to find more information!