Wausau's new Warming Center opened for the first time Friday night. The overnight shelter has enough room for 15 adults to sit or sleep comfortably. Space will be given away on a first come first serve basis. There are no restrictions on who's welcome except that you have to be over the age of 18. Although the center won't accept families, they will help families find another place to stay. The Director of the Wausau Warming Center, Diane Borchardt, told NewsChannel 7 she was anticipating a full house Friday night.
"I expect possibly all fifteen chairs will be full. Maybe I'm wrong. It will be hard if we have more than fifteen because, of course, we can only take fifteen people. But we do have some back up plans for that," Borchardt said.
Borchardt adds hat they will work closely with the Salvation Army to make sure everyone has a warm place to stay even if the Warming Center is filled to capacity.
Doors open at 9:00 PM and close at 10:00PM everyday from now until March. Visitors will be expected to stay until 7:00AM. If they leave they will not be allowed back inside.
Along with a warm place to stay, visitors to the warming center will also receive a modest meal and, if needed, warm clothes.
The center is still in need of volunteers. To become a volunteer is pretty simple. All you have to do is attend a scheduled training session, which lasts about tow hours. There you'll be trained on all the different duties volunteers would be responsible for and the just sign up for a shift.
"We need people to stay the shift from 9:00 PM to 2:00 AM or 2:00 AM to 7:00 AM," Borchardt told NewsChannel 7.
If you can't volunteer your time, the center is in need of warm winter clothes to hand out.