New warming center almost complete in time for shelter season

MARQUETTE — Even though winter is still a few months away, Marquette’s Room at the Inn is already preparing for shelter season.

Its warming center on Washington Street is still under construction, but is expected to be open by September 28 for the start of shelter season.  It will serve breakfast to the homeless and other members of the community, and will offer showers and laundry facilities.

“It’s a place where guests and Marquette community members can communicate with each other, build camaraderie, can hang out and have coffee, get on the Internet do job searches…all of those kinds of things that need to be provided for those in need that we don’t really think about,” Room at the Inn executive director Heather Reese said.  “The computer, the Internet, the feeding, the warmth.  All of those things are critical to serving those who need it in our area.”

Renovating the warming center’s building could not have been done without the work of volunteers and generous donations.

“Getting the warming center open has been a labor of love for so many people,” Reese said.  “It has really opened up a spirit of volunteerism in Marquette.  We have people volunteering with our flooring, we have people volunteering painting.  Those contractors that are working with us have given us a significant break in product that we’ve needed to bring a very old building up to code.”

The warming center will be open from 6-10 a.n. to serve food starting September 28, and Reese hopes the center will eventually stay open until 6 p.m.

If you’d like to volunteer, there are volunteer training sessions on the third Thursday of the month from 6-8 p.m. at the Room at the Inn’s Rock Street location.  For more information on volunteering or donating items, contact Reese via email at, contact the shelter at (906) 227-9171, or visit Room at the Inn’s website.