Room in the Inn

After a year of work, Room in the Inn's new Outreach Center is up and running and proving to be a wonderful resource for the agency.

In two buildings with more than 3,000 combined square feet, helping hands and healing hearts work inside the new Outreach Center for Room In The Inn, Marshall County.

The non-profit is a program of the Marshall County Homeless Ministries that partners with local churches to provide temporary shelter for people without homes. They currently run a cold-weather shelter only through the months of November through March, housing people in need on a rotating basis.

Executive Director Shirley Chupp said the entire idea came to her after she prayed.

"My husband and I prayed a dangerous prayer and asked God to break our heart for things that break his," Chupp said. "Homelessness is seen throughout the scripture. Our Savior when he was here, He was a homeless man. I just think there are so many needs within our county in North Alabama that could be met if we work together."

The Outreach Center is a 2 part building.

One building holds offices for employees and has a laundry facility.

The other building is for the Day Programs and also where registration takes places for those interested in shelter. It also has a kitchen area, open room for classes, bathrooms and handicap accessible showers.

"It was just a shell of a building when we got it," Chupp continued. "We've been working really hard for about a year to get it fixed up. Eventually, we will be allowed to use this building as a place to have people sleep overnight as well."

Chupp said even though they have come a long way in being able to finally have a building, they've faced some hard times.

"A few years back, we had around 35 churches that had partnered with us," she continued. "Then COVID hit. It's been a tough couple of years."

One individual who was in the day center, could not speak enough praise about how the non-profit had helped her.

She was currently in the center from another state after her husband had passed away unexpectedly. At one time, she made up to $100,000 a year.

"They do an awesome job here," she said. "I didn't realize how easy it was to fall into the situation. The Lord allows these things to happen to us so we can be better people. It can happen to anyone."

Chupp said the faces of homelessness are as individual as the individuals are.

For those who may be in need of help, the center is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Registration paperwork for shelter includes having a photo ID, a drug and alcohol test, background check for violent and sexual offenses and a Covid screen.

"Hearts For The Homeless" pancake breakfast fundraiser is slated for sometime in February.

The Outreach Center is located at 4101 Hwy 69 in Guntersville.

For more information, contact Room In The Inn at (256) 486-3398

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