ESCAPING LOW TEMPS: E.C. Warming Center Seeks Volunteers to Expand Hours
shelter now open 8am-6pm every Sunday, but is looking to be open every day of the week during the same window
Winter in Wisconsin is bitterly cold, and without a newly established organization, the homeless population of Eau Claire may be in immediate danger of frostbite.
The Eau Claire Warming Center, 502 S. Farwell St., is a place where individuals with no immediate access to permanent housing can shelter themselves from the harsh winter conditions during the day. The shelter is currently open from 8am-6:30pm every Sunday through the end of March.
“This is a great place to get involved and help out a group of people who might not have anywhere else to go if we weren’t here,” volunteer Eric Johansen said.
The Warming Center, which is on the property of Christ Church Cathedral, was started in October 2019 by a group of concerned community partners and citizens to address the growing problem of homelessness in Eau Claire. The nearby Sojourner House is also a resource that population uses to stay warm. However, Sojourner House is only open from 7pm-8am, leaving unhoused people without a place to stay warm during the daytime.
This presented a need for the founders of the Eau Claire Warming Center, as Sundays left the area’s homeless population without any resources for immediate shelter. Initially the Warming Center planned on being open every day of the week during daytime hours, but low staffing numbers have made this impossible at the time being.
Extremely low sub-zero temperatures in Eau Claire in January have exacerbated this issue, making the problem of low staffing even more timely.
If you are interested in volunteering at the Eau Claire Warming Center on Sundays or during potential weekday daytime hours, you can visit their website ecwarmingcenter.com.