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Mel Trotter: Code Blue In Effect To Help Homeless

Homeless man on bridge

In preparation for plummeting temps, Mel Trotter Ministries is shifting into “Code Blue” status.  Mel Trotter uses Code Blue to describe the most extreme winter conditions in West Michigan.

“During Code Blue, it is terrible weather out there and we allow anyone to come in at any time.”

Mel Trotter Ministries, CEO Dennis Van Kampen says Code Blue has been enacted to help keep those who are homeless safe in extreme weather conditions.  Van Kampen says it doesn’t take long for cold temps to impact someone… even a short walk to your car and leave you feeling the cold’s sting, but when you’re homeless, the impact, he says, is far greater.

“And I’m thinking, what would it be like, if I had no place to go.  How would I survive out here? And many people in the streets don’t have adequate boots, or coats, so it’s important that organizations like Mel Trotter and others that will say, you can come in, you can be safe here.”

Van Kampen says after examining recent number of those seeking shelter, there’s an alarming new trend.

“And what we’re finding is, in 2017, we had an average of 295 individuals. In 2018 that number went up to 345, but so far in 2019 we have been averaging 416 individuals. Those are incredible numbers, it shows the increase in homelessness, but those are numbers that we didn’t see those numbers last year until January, February.”

Van Kampen says they may even see the numbers they saw during the Polar Vortex yet this week or this month.  He says that’s why its some important to keep their doors open and establish Code Blue.  And he says if you see someone outside who may need assistance.

“And it just doesn’t look right, they seem cold, or they seem like they don’t have a place to go, or something like that and you’re not comfortable with approaching them yourself, then please at least, call 9-1-1.  We are so blessed in this community with our law enforcement in West Michigan who are wonderful in doing wellness checks and following up on those phone calls.”

And If you want to find other ways you can help, just go to MelTrotter.org.