Room at the Inn COMO provides warmth again this winter

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COLUMBIA -- Room at the Inn first gave a place for those in need to sleep in 2010, and it will continue to do so this winter.

The organization opened for its first night of the season Sunday at Fairview United Methodist Church. It will remain at the church until Jan. 2, and then the program will rotate locations to four other churches through early March.

This cause is especially important to Yvonne Chamberlain, the program’s coordinator, as she desired to help the homeless from a young age.

She said, “I recollect going to soup kitchens on holidays and different times throughout the year, both with my family and things like Girl Scouts and student organizations, to serve the homeless.”

But Chamberlain does not run the program alone. The organization utilizes approximately 20 to 25 volunteers per night, according to Chamberlain. Several volunteers spent their Sunday setting up cots and organizing food items.

Chamberlain encouraged those who are unable to volunteer to make monetary donations if possible. RATI has also published a list on its website of items it still needs.

Room at the Inn accommodates up to 50 guests per night on a first-come-first-serve basis. Guests stay from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. They come from all walks of life.

Chamberlain said, “Everybody’s story is different and how they came to be in whatever situation they’re in, it really doesn’t matter. They’re in that situation, and they’re doing their best to deal with it.”

For more information, visit the Room at the Inn COMO website.