Coastal Container, a local family-owned and operated full-service packaging company utilized a portion of its New Markets Tax Credit to support Mel Trotter Ministries, a Grand Rapids organization dedicated to serving the homeless. When the availability of the funds and Coastal Container’s expansion plans didn’t fully align, Brent Patterson, Coastal Container’s CEO, opted to pass along the tax credits made available by Mascoma Community Development to Mel Trotter Ministries. The non-profit providing shelter, medical and outreach services to families experiencing homelessness is undergoing its own expansion project, and Coastal’s redirection of tax credits has helped reduce Mel Trotter Ministries’ Next Step project capital needs by $550,000.
“This partnership reflects our commitment to building community and how much we value making and maintaining local connections,” said Patterson. “Our roots in West Michigan and our pride in being a local, family-owned company drives us to seek opportunities to support and collaborate with other local organizations.”
Mel Trotter Ministries, originally founded as the City Rescue Mission in 1900 in Grand Rapids, has launched its Immeasurably More capital campaign, which serves to provide dignity, safety and opportunity for those in the community seeking to move from homelessness to a life of renewed security and progress. The Next Step project includes new construction and the rehabilitation of a vacant building. The project will also provide job skills training and employment and create spaces for workforce development, as well as housing for program participants.
Coastal’s own expansion plans will add 65,000 square feet to their existing facility along with more than 60 jobs in the coming years and, according to Nate Hoekstra, Coastal Container’s general manager, the partnership with Mel Trotter Ministries speaks to Coastal’s mission and values and its desire to have positive local impact.
“We received a letter from Mel Trotter Ministries, thanking us for our contribution to their efforts, and the letter ended with ‘Perhaps a Next Step graduate will one day be employed at Coastal Container.’ That would be a total realization of our belief in family-driven values and compassion for the community,” stated Hoekstra.