Mel Trotter Ministries adds psychiatric care to renovated clinic

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Mel Trotter Ministries, a Grand Rapids nonprofit serving the homeless, has completed the renovation of its medical facility.

With the help of a capital campaign Mel Trotter was able to renovate its Community Partners Medical Clinic, New Hope Sobering Center, mental health services, and dental, eye and chiropractic care.

A brand new portion of the clinic includes a behavioral health center, a resource President and CEO Dennis Van Kampen looks forward to making available to those willing to use it.

“We all know that our mental health system is under strain,” Van Kampen said.

He said the people the nonprofits serve are often unable to connect easily or are absolutely uninterested in being connected to mental health support, with Van Kampen explaining that this was seen as intimidating could become. He said it’s important for people to feel comfortable and known.

“While we’re dealing with rising homelessness in Grand Rapids, as we’re seeing the same thing across the country, we have tensions” between people, businesses and facilities downtown, Van Kampen said.

“The vast majority of people who experience homelessness are not mentally ill and they are not causing difficulties for anyone, they literally just want help to get out of homelessness,” he added.

Van Kampen said there is a small percentage of homeless people locally who are struggling with serious mental illness and it is important for our community to come together to ensure services are in place and provided when they are ready to use them.

“Mel Trotter isn’t the only answer, we can’t be the only answer, but this is another contribution to our community doing better in this regard,” said Van Kampen.

An additional $400,000 stipend from Network180 helped the nonprofit add recovery coaches and provide additional resources to the organization. The remaining renovation and capital campaigns are expected to be completed this fall.

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