Room at the Inn looking for volunteers after COVID-19 outbreak

Homeless shelter asking for people who have had the virus and recovered
Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 7:08 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - On November 5th, the Room at the Inn Warming Center’s first known positive COVID-19 case... was its own Executive Director Nick Emmendorfer, who caught the virus outside the building.

“I completed my quarantine and passed my screening,” Emmendorfer said, “so I was able to return to work. I have been symptom-free since, so I have been able to work.”

But he didn’t pass the virus to anyone else.

He says with guests and volunteers free to come and go, it was inevitable that COVID would enter the shelter at some point. Now, out of the 30 guests in the shelter, there are ten positive cases and two presumptive cases.

As a result, caring for the guests has become challenging.

“Right now, we are looking for healthy volunteers,” Emmendorfer stated. “Preferably, volunteers who have already had COVID and recovered to help out at the Warming Center.”

Emmendorfer says, though, all healthy volunteers are acceptable.

“We can still use volunteers to help provide meals at the Warming Center,” he said. “We can also use volunteers to help drive meals to guests that are quarantined in motels right now.”

The shelter’s guests, their friends and family, volunteers, and employees are all advised to take precautions and follow the guidelines.

“If it’s not an essential run,” Emmendorfer mentioned, “there is no need to go out and risk spreading not only to the homeless community but to the community in general.”

He is also asking volunteers over 60 or those with pre-existing conditions to stay home. However, they are welcome to send in-kind or monetary donations, as well as pre-cooked meals for shelter guests.

To find out more about how you can volunteer, visit and click on the volunteer tab.

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