Homeless people in Wausau now have a new place to turn to when it's cold out.
Wausau's warming center opened Friday evening, on one of the coldest nights of the year.
Bob Schmit, a volunteer at the center, says he sees the product of hard work.
"It feels like a home here, and these are people looking for friends, someone who cares," Schmit said.
The center is located in the basement of St. Paul's United Church of Christ.
"I'm past my prime, retired, and now I have the time to do things for people that I didn't have the time to do before," Schmit said.
It all started last year, when a group of community leaders made the push for the warming center.
"I go outside for just a short while and oh my God, I don't know how people live out there, I don't know how they do it," Schmit said.
Now, just weeks after the city council approved it, it's up and running.
"There's a few last minute things for me to do here today but we just can't wait to open up the doors tonight and let those people in," Diane Borchardt, Warming Center Coordinator said.
The center will admit up to 15 adult men and women every night starting at 9 p.m. Recliners, food, blankets, and toiletry items will be offered to those who spend the night.
"To be involved in this and see all the great things that are happening it just lets you know that there are so many good people out there," Borchardt said.
People like Schmit, who says it's about helping those who need it.
"When you get the word that everyone is settled down for the night and they're glowing because of what you did. It's very heartwarming," Schmit said.
Warming center leaders say they are still in need for volunteers. Training sessions will be held during the upcoming weeks.
For more information call: 715-849-3311 or go to www.cclse.org
Scattered showers to continue the next few days.
1908 Grand Avenue, Wausau, WI 54403
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