GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Mel Trotter Ministries, a Grand Rapids nonprofit that works to help those who are homeless, has completed renovations to its medical space.
Through the help of a capital campaign, Mel Trotter has been able to renovate its Community Partners Medical Clinic, the New Hope Sobering Center, mental health services, as well as dental, vision and chiropractic care.
A brand-new part of the clinic includes a behavioral health center, a resource President and CEO Dennis Van Kampen is looking forward to having available for those willing to utilize it.
“We all know our mental health system is taxed,” Van Kampen said.
He said the individuals the nonprofit serves are often unable to get connected easily or flat-out uninterested in being connected to mental health help, with Van Kampen explaining it can be seen as intimidating. He said it’s important to make people feel comfortable and known.
“As we deal in Grand Rapids with increasing homelessness, as the same thing we see happening around the country, what we’re having is tension” between people, businesses and downtown entities, Van Kampen said.
“The vast majority of people experiencing homelessness are not mentally ill and they’re also not causing anyone trouble, they literally just want help to get out of homelessness,” he added.
Van Kampen said there is a small percentage of homeless people locally dealing with severe mental illness and it’s important for our community to come together to make sure services are there and provided if they willing to use it.
“Mel Trotter isn’t the only answer, we can’t be the only answer, but this is another part toward our community doing better in that respect,” Van Kampen said.
An additional $400,000 grant from Network180 helped the nonprofit add recovery coaches and provide additional resources to the organization. The remaining renovations and capital campaign are expected to be complete this fall.