Room at the Inn gets boost for Warming Center

It’s hard to believe that fall is already here, but we have to face the reality that’s only going to get colder.

Room at the Inn is doing their part to plan ahead by purchasing the old Dano’s Pizza storefront on Washington Street in Marquette, so they can convert it into a warming center to keep hundreds safe from harsh winter weather. It’s an expensive process, but fortunately a few local organizations chipped in to help lock down the new facility.

“Room at the Inn applied for the foundation dollars and then, through a process, we went ahead to determine where those foundation dollars go,” said E.J. Kutchie, a Senior Public Affairs Representative at Cliffs Natural Resources who donated a $160,000 check to Room at the Inn. “We felt like it was a really good fit for this community and for what Cliffs can do.”

“Room at the Inn has always had two main components: our shelter each evening and our warming center where our guests go in the morning, where they have a chance for a hot shower and a hot breakfast before they get on with their day. Our warming center, we’ve kind of outgrown that space. There was a need to try to identify a new place where we could have a warming center that would serve us for many years in the future,” explained Doug Russell, Executive Director of Room at the Inn. “We spent over a year on this process, looking at different properties within the city of Marquette because this facility right here will be in walking distance of more than half of our host churches. That was a big plus for us, in terms of finding a space.”

The Diocese of Marquette added their support by awarding Room at the Inn a $1,000 check for their continued support in the community. Anyone in need of food and shelter can stop in at the new location once all of it’s components have been renovated, which officials are hoping is sometime around mid January.