COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Unitarian Universalist Church in Columbia is the first of six churches to host Room at the Inn this year.
It opens Sunday December 9 at 7 p.m. and people can stay until 7 a.m.
"Last year I believe we had 17 the first night," said volunteer Mike Latham.
He said they could expect to shelter more people this year with such cold temperatures. The Unitarian Universalist Church can hold up to 32 guests, however other churches that will host Room at the Inn this season can hold up to 50 people.
"We know that we will see some folks year after year but there are always new faces," said Leadership Team Member Debby Graham.
Last year more than 200 different people stayed at Room at the Inn.
A shuttle makes a stop in downtown Columbia to pick up guests needing a warm place to stay and brings them to Room at the Inn. The Columbia Police Department is on site during guest check-in.
Each person has a cot to sleep on and is given a meal. Graham said the shelter needs about 25 volunteers each night. Click here if you're interested in volunteering or donating.
Graham said her greatest hope is for guests to find a permanent place to live.
"It's just always a victory when you see them get their own place and become a little bit more self sufficient," she said.
Find a full list of the city's official overnight shelters, here.
The Room at the Inn will be hosted at six different churches this season. See below for dates and locations.
- December 9, 2018 through December 22, 2018 (Unitarian Universalist Church - 2615 Shepard Blvd)
- December 23, 2018 through January 5, 2019 (Fairview United Methodist Church - 3200 Chapel Hill Rd)
- January 6, 2019 through January 26, 2019 (Broadway Christian Church - 2601 W Broadway)
- January 27, 2019 through February 9, 2019 (Missouri United Methodist Church - 204 S 9th St)
- February 10, 2019 through February 16, 2019 (First Presbyterian Church - 16 Hitt St)
- February 17, 2019 through March 2, 2019 (First Baptist Church - 1112 E Broadway)