Celebrating a successful first season for Hope at the Inn

A Delta County organization is celebrating its first season of helping homeless residents in the Escanaba area.

Escanaba’s Hope at the Inn is a homeless shelter that rotates between seven churches and is modeled after Marquette’s Room at the Inn.  The organization acknowledged people who have been a vital part to the organization this past winter Thursday night.

Hope at the Inn has had a very successful first season, thanks to countless volunteers, pastors, and churches dedicated to helping those in need.

“One of the great things is seeing the ecumenical movement as all of the churches work together to meet the need that’s out there and provide the ministry that’s so important, and to watch them as they interacted with the guests coming to stay at their church,” Major Ralph Hansen, from Escanaba’s Salvation Army, said.  “It was a good opportunity for us to begin to understand who homeless people are and what the difference from what our expectations is to what reality is.”

“I started out volunteering and was hoping that we would make a difference for some people, and I’d like to say we did make a difference for some of those folks,” First Presbyterian Church volunteer Judy Keim said.  “I could see some of them move into permanent housing, and that’s sort of an end goal.  Some received other assistance that they needed with some of the other community agencies, so that was succeeding in helping the mission of helping the homeless.”

Hope at the Inn hopes to expand to include more Delta County churches, and wants to open for the winter season earlier in the fall, possibly November 1 or October 1.

In the last six months, the organization served 300 bed nights to individuals–about an average of three per night–in the community.

More information on Hope at the Inn can be found here.