During the winter of 2000-2001, several people died and many more were in severe physical distress as a direct result of inadequate overnight shelter in Macomb County. It was a brutal winter, and the existing shelters were full.
On January 16, 2001, a team of shelter directors and others called a meeting of local church and community leaders, and a task force began. 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 and anyone who could help. The response was slow at first, but eventually seven churches of various denominations agreed to provide one-week shelters. Additional congregations offered money, volunteers, space and supplies.
In January 2002, the MCWC opened its first overnight shelter at Sacred Heart Church in Roseville. For the rest of that winter, the seven churches sheltered the homeless for a total of eleven weeks.
Now, roughly 15 years later, we have a growing network of churches that provide shelter for the coldest winter months. But we didn’t stop there.
In April 2006 we opened The Ray of Hope Day Center to offer referrals and resources for medical services, job searching, mailing addresses, identification and other support. In January 2008, we launched a peer support group, which offers a group setting with peer support for homeless citizens.