EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Right now, homeless shelters in Eau Claire are dealing with overflow and do not have enough room during these cold months. The community is pulling together to help and make sure nobody has to spend these cold nights outside.
After an extremely cold winter last year, a group of community members got together and opened a new warming center just this week in Eau Claire. But now they are asking for volunteers to keep it running.
There are two overnight shifts for volunteers, one from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. and another one from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. During that time, they provide some activities, food, warm drinks, and a warm place to hang out for people in need.
The warming center serves as an overflow area for people that cannot fit at Sojourner House. Each night the people that are turned away from Sojourner House due to capacity concerns will walk over to the warming center together and spend the night inside.
“Last year you know we had a really bad winter and they were turning people away into that cold weather and we realized in the housing world that this was a big issue and then we came together and created this warming center so we really the space for when Sojourner House can just absolutely not fit anybody else, that's when they come here to be in a safe and warm environment,” said Nathan Dougherty, the volunteer coordinator.
Christ Church Cathedral stepped up and let them use a building they own at 502 S Farwell Street in downtown Eau Claire. That building can accommodate 20 people for right now.
Since opening they have served a couple of people each night and they expect numbers to go up as winter continues. But to make it happen, they really need more volunteers.
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