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Mel Trotter Ministries opens Youth House to help young men move out of homelessness

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Mel Trotter is partnering with 3:11 Youth Housing and NAACP on a supportive housing program that helps young men transition out of homelessness.
Jack, Youth House Mentor

Jack, Youth House Mentor

Youth Homelessness in GR

According the 3:11 Youth Housing, it is estimated that more than 80 unacompanied youth are homeless on any given night in Kent County and more than 2,000 youth experience homelessness each year. These numbers are only those youth that have self-identified as homeless, agencies anticipate that there are many more young people who are on the streets without assistance each night.

The MTM Youth House is located in an undisclosed location within the GR city limits.

The MTM Youth House is located in an undisclosed location within the GR city limits.

Youth house guests will have the opportunity for family style dining.

Youth house guests will have the opportunity for family style dining.

Mel Trotter Ministries announced the opening of a non-time limited supportive housing unit for young men, ages 18-24, who are experiencing homelessness. The MTM Youth House was established to provide additional housing opportunities for the growing and vulnerable youth homeless population in the greater Grand Rapids area. This opportunity fosters a supportive, community environment for young men to build the foundation for independent living.

The Youth House will officially open to the tenants on April 3, 2017 and MTM will work closely with 3:11 Youth Housing to provide support for the young men who will be living at the house.

“Grand Rapids becomes a better place to live for everyone when we work together to address and solve problems,” explained Dennis Van Kampen, President/CEO of Mel Trotter Ministries. “This partnership is an example of three organizations coming together and each bringing their expertise to the table to multiply the impact. It is an honor to be part of the solution with 3:11, NAACP and other organizations that are committed to helping youth realize their God-given talents and help them end their homelessness, for good.”

The youth house, located in an undisclosed Grand Rapids location, features two bathrooms, a community kitchen and dining area, private rooms for the four tenants and their house mentor. The house mentor – recruited and trained by 3:11 Youth Housing– lives in the house and provides encouragement and guidance. MTM will also provide a youth advocate to assist with job readiness, housing readiness and spiritual counseling and other vital support.

"We believe that to truly solve the problem of youth homelessness in our community, we have to work together in new and innovative ways,” said Co-Executive Director, Lauren VanKeulen. “With the support of our two organizations and other community partners, young people will have more access to safe, affordable housing in a supportive environment for the long term – for that we are overjoyed!"

MTM Youth House tenants will also have the opportunity to work closely with the Grand Rapids chapter of the NAACP to learn how to better advocate for themselves in a variety of ways, including building skills in leadership and professional development.

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