Homelessness is a tragic event in anyone's life, and for women it can be more troubling with no place to turn, no place to go. That is changing.

After the success of creating a transitional house for youth in 2017, Mel Trotter Ministries recently opened a transitional house for women who are experiencing homelessness. The MTM “Melanie House” was established to provide additional housing opportunities for women who have gone through a program at the Mel Trotter Ministries downtown shelter but still face challenging barriers to having a home of their own.

This housing opportunity fosters a supportive community environment and does not exclude women based on physical or mental disabilities, prior criminal history, addiction, bad credit or other barriers.

“The home will offer the tenants stable, affordable housing which they have been unable to secure in our city’s tight rental market,” said Dennis Van Kampen, CEO of Mel Trotter Ministries. “This experience will help these ladies build the foundation for independent living in the future and we believe this experience will help keep them from returning to homelessness.”

The Melanie House is located in an undisclosed location in Grand Rapids. It features two bathrooms, a community kitchen and dining area, and three private rooms for the three tenants who were formerly in an MTM program. One of the tenants serves as an on-site resident assistant and provides encouragement and guidance. Tenants pay $300-$400 a month for rent and also pay for their own utilities.

MTM will also offer aftercare services with a staff case manager who walks alongside the tenants as they connect with their new neighborhood, build credit history, navigate transportation, continue a savings plan and set goals for long-term housing.

Some items for furnishing the home are still needed by donors. To help, please go to www.meltrotter.org/needs to help out.