FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WBAY) – With cold weather approaching, many warming shelters in our area are preparing to open for the season. But, an increase in need in Fond du Lac almost put its shelter in jeopardy.
Solutions Center in Fond du Lac has run the warming shelter in the city since 2007, but as the need grew, it was obvious a bigger space was needed for the warming shelter this winter. As Solutions struggled to find space that would accommodate their needs, the Salvation Army was also considering opening a warming shelter of its own.
So, with approval from its national headquarters, The Salvation Army’s idea is becoming a reality.
“We’re just really excited that the program is going to have an opportunity to thrive, to expand and to have a lot of those basic human needs that just weren’t available in the past,” says Nicole Johnson, executive director of Solutions Center.
In addition to sleeping quarters in a gym at The Salvation Army, the fellowship hall will be available for those seeking shelter too. Dinner will be served every night, and showers and laundry facilities will also be offered to those in need.
According to Captain Steven Wilson with The Salvation Army, “We’ll definitely be able to house the number that they did last year, 25 to 30. We’ll make that commitment to make sure that happens. And, if we get full we will find a place. We don’t want to just turn people away in the cold.”
But the warming shelter is quite the undertaking. While Solutions Center is offering supplies and volunteers, The Salvation Army is looking for others in the community to step up too. And it’s seeking donations of pillows and twin bed sheets as well as towels for the showers.
“It takes a whole community of people to come together and support and make sure those people who don’t have, will have,” says Captain Wilson.
The warming shelter will open to those in need on November first and stay open through the end of March.