During the winter of 2000-2001, four local people died and many more were in severe physical distress as a direct result of inadequate overnight shelter in Macomb County. The existing shelters were full and the weather was unrelenting: cold, windy and icy.
On January 16, 2001, a team of existing shelter directors and other interested parties called a meeting of local church and community leaders. As a result of that meeting, the Macomb County Warming Center had its first task force meeting on January 30, 2001, at St. Margaret of Scotland Church in Roseville.
The small task force continued to meet every two weeks for the rest of 2001. They contacted churches, businesses, government officials, media – everyone who could help. The response was slow at first, but eventually there were seven churches of various denominations that stepped up to the plate. Other churches offered money, volunteers, space and supplies.
Finally, in January 2002, the MCWC opened its first overnight shelter at Sacred Heart Church in Roseville. During the remainder of the winter, the seven churches sheltered the homeless for a total of eleven weeks. Currently, we have a growing network of churches that provide shelter for the coldest winter months.
In April 2006 we opened The Ray of Hope Day Center to all who seek referrals and resources for medical services, job searching, mailing addresses, etc. Our peer support group project opened in January 2008 and provides a group setting with peer support for homeless citizens.