Mel Trotter Ministries launches mobile shower unit

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Mel Trotter Ministries said it will unveil its new mobile shower unit in a dedication ceremony from 9-9:30 a.m. Wednesday in the main parking lot of The Other Way Ministries, at 710 W. Fulton St. in Grand Rapids. Courtesy Mel Trotter Ministries

A nonprofit is rolling out a new mobile shower unit for individuals experiencing homelessness in downtown Grand Rapids.

Mel Trotter Ministries said it will unveil its new mobile shower unit in a dedication ceremony from 9-9:30 a.m. Wednesday in the main parking lot of The Other Way Ministries, at 710 W. Fulton St. in Grand Rapids.

The three-stall mobile shower unit will allow those experiencing homelessness to take a hot shower.

“This is a natural extension of what we do here,” said Dennis Van Kampen, president and CEO of Mel Trotter Ministries. “When we launched outreach a year ago, one of the gaps in care we found is the lack of showering options for individuals living in encampments or otherwise on the streets. Providing the means for individuals to take a shower allows them to feel dignified, which in turn, provides confidence to be able to walk into a job interview feeling clean, valued and fully welcomed.”

The mobile shower unit will be placed at strategic locations throughout the city where hygiene services are most needed. Mel Trotter Ministries, along with community partners including The Other Way Ministries, The Homeless Outreach Team and others said they feel strongly that being builders of relationships in West Michigan is paramount to helping unsheltered individuals with tangible needs such as hygiene.

“While demonstrating the compassion of Christ one life at a time happens through meeting immediate needs, even more so, it happens through relationships in action, letting others know they are loved and valued,” Van Kampen said.

MTM received two lead gifts from Amway and Express Employment Professionals of Grand Rapids.

“Express Employment Professionals cares deeply for our community. We are so excited to invest in the MTM mobile shower unit,” said Janis Petrini, owner/operator of Express Employment Professionals Grand Rapids. “This new shower unit will help bring dignity to those that are experiencing homelessness as they move to sustainable housing and employment opportunities. It is our joy to walk alongside our community members and this is an incredible resource.”

Jim Ayres, managing director of Amway North America, said he agreed.

“With every shower, Mel Trotter Ministries will offer dignity to our homeless neighbors,” he said. “Amway is proud to be a part of bringing this program to those experiencing homelessness in Grand Rapids.”

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