Mel Trotter Ministries and Next Step of West Michigan merge

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Mel Trotter Ministries and Next Step of West Michigan merged July 1. Courtesy Mel Trotter Ministries

A pair of nonprofits that both serve individuals experiencing or at-risk for hunger and homelessness merged, effective this month.

Grand Rapids-based Mel Trotter Ministries and Next Step of West Michigan said Monday the two organizations formally merged July 1.

They said no jobs or services will be affected by the merger but rather it was intended to reduce “duplication of services,” as they serve similar populations.

“I trust donors will be encouraged to see that likeminded organizations are partnering to serve the same population,” said Scott Jonkhoff, CEO of Next Step of West Michigan. “By merging together, we can go further than we could have individually. I am encouraged and hopeful that we will positively impact the lives of people on the margins for years to come.”

Mel Trotter Ministries President and CEO Dennis Van Kampen echoed Jonkhoff’s sentiments.

“We believe that when organizations partner together or merge, the entire community gets better. Through this merger, we will become more effective stewards of donor and community resources. Most importantly, our guests will have more options and will move more quickly out of homelessness forever. We believe that this will be a huge blessing for all,” Van Kampen said.

Next Step’s manufacturing space will provide the merged organizations a space to train and employ individuals who have “little to no work experience,” the organizations said.

The merger will create a construction division of Mel Trotter Ministries that will manage and renovate projects at an affordable cost.

Plans to utilize vacant land owned by Next Step will provide Mel Trotter with the opportunity to create affordable transitional housing.

Additionally, Next Step’s skilled construction experience will be used in building and renovating transitional housing for individuals leaving homelessness.

The organizations said they will provide up-to-date information on the merger as it becomes available at meltrotter.org/next-step-merger.

Mel Trotter Ministries

Founded in 1900, Mel Trotter Ministries is a Christian organization that provides “rescue and restoration” for anyone experiencing hunger and homelessness.

Next Step of West Michigan

Formed in 2007, Next Step is a faith-based nonprofit employing people coming out of prison or rehab and providing them with a community of support that will help them “integrate into the workforce, regain hope and empower themselves to create a better future.”

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