Representative Jack Bergman (MI-01)
In the Marquette, Michigan area, an interfaith coalition of churches shares the mission of providing support and shelter for the homeless. This coalition operates a rotating shelter, moving weekly to one of twelve different host churches. The shelter is run and staffed by volunteers and funded by contributions from the community. The underlying goal of the shelter is to provide an opportunity for guests to focus on life transitions without the worry of finding food and shelter.
Since its 2007 founding, the shelter has served 1,100 unique homeless residents, providing 27,000 bed nights and 100,000 meals. The shelter, which is open every night from September through May accommodates 18-20 guests per night. Each night the guests have a warm, safe place to sleep, and every morning, through a linked program, residents are provided with a hot meal, shower, and social worker assistance with housing, employment, health care, etc.
Since 2015, in coordination with local agencies that also serve homeless residents, 40 guests have been helped to move into their own housing.
The interfaith coalition also operates a center which provides breakfast and lunch daily, year around, serving 2,000 meals each month. Suppers are provided by the hosting church volunteers. Both interfaith coalition programs are operated 100% through community donations and manned by approximately 14,000 volunteer hours per year.
The collaboration among individuals and organizations serving the needy of the area is beyond imagination.