Wausau Community Warming Center to Open Feb. 1

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

In just weeks, the homeless in Wausau will have another place to seek shelter during the coldest winter months.

Tuesday night, the Wausau City Council approved a permit to house a warming shelter at St. Paul's United Church of Christ Community Center in downtown.

It will be run by Catholic Charities and the United Way of Marathon County.

The Wausau Community Warming Center will be open each night from 9 p.m. - 7 a.m. and will accept up to 15 adult men and women beginning Feb. 1.

What's unique about the warming center, is it will accept individuals regardless of alcohol or drug addiction or criminal convictions, as long as they behave while there.

"We will accept those people in a way they're not causing a disruption, there's not any violence things like that," said Diane Borchardt, the center's coordinator.

The warming center will be modeled after a similar one in La Crosse, which is near or full capacity almost every night.

Borchardt says it may take awhile before the homeless trust that the center is a good place to stay.

The center will be open through March 31st, and then open again on Nov. 1. Along with a recliner for people to sit or sleep on, the center will provide a hot meal and breakfast.

Before opening, the center coordinator will be busy gathering volunteers to help with food, cleaning and check-in.

An informational meeting will be held Thursday, January 10th from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. and 6 - 7 p.m. at the Resurrection Church at 621 N. 2nd Street.

Others interested in volunteering or donating can contact Catholic Charities at 715-849-3311 or www.cclse.org.

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