Baby It's Cold Outside! And, I'm not referencing the Christmas song. It's just bitterly cold, snowy and dangerous for those having to spend their days and nights outside, without shelter, homeless. It's more that men and women, It's children, too. 

There is some help for those in need. Mel Trotter Ministries (MTM) is shifting into a “code blue” status to ensure men, women and children experiencing homelessness are safe. "Code blue” is a term used by MTM to describe the most extreme winter conditions in West Michigan, when temperatures stay below freezing for a period of time – putting those who are exposed to the elements at severe risk of hypothermia, frost bite or even death. Sadly, MTM expects to serve 400-500 men, women and children on these cold nights.

MTM will provide:

• Access to safe, warm shelter 24 hours a day with lifted curfew times.
• Warm clothing; hats, gloves, hand warmers, for guests staying at the shelter.
• On-site medical staff to assess for conditions caused from cold weather exposure.
• Removing previous restrictions to enter shelter for people who have violated rules.
• Staff doing outreach around the Mission to welcome everyone in and provide resources.
Various warming centers have been identified throughout the city, including at Mel Trotter Ministries and you can FIND THE LIST HERE.

There is more to be done, and Mel Trotter Ministries needS our help to provide for those in need. MTM is collecting new and like new coats, boots and various other items for all ages and genders. Items can be dropped off at Mel Trotter Ministries downtown location at 225 Commerce Avenue SW and various locations throughout greater Grand Rapids.

More information about the Code Blue Drive, drop off locations and other ongoing needs at www.meltrotter.org/codeblue