Starr Presbyterian Church in Royal Oak holds its annual Coffee House to benefit the overnight Warming Shelter, 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19. While the church is the new location for the Welcome Inn Day Shelter run by the South Oakland Citizens for the Homeless (SOCH), it also participates in the evening Warming Shelter, where churches in the area take two-week shifts to feed and lodge homeless people, called the South Oakland Warming Centers (SOWC).
“They come in the evening, get dinner and spend the night. We also do breakfast and a sack lunch to go,” said church member Tom Hahn. “We have a lot of volunteers. People sign up and we have a committee that has been working on it for months and months.”
Hahn pointed out that there are a lot of expenses to host the Warming Shelter, but it's a “good thing to do.”
“We have a big laundry bill at the end. It runs around $1,500-$1,600. We launder all of the bedrolls, the blankets. We try to get food donations and some people come in and offer to cook on different nights, and then we purchase a lot of things, too. We have to run the heating and the electricity, so our bills skyrocket during those times.”
A musician for many years, Hahn put together a great lineup of local performers for the Warming Shelter benefit, including Ron Coden and John D. Lamb.
“Black Mist is going to be there. They play down at Old Shillelagh in Detroit. A friend of mine in that group, Phil DeMarco, his daughter, Olivia DeMarco is playing as well. We have Pat Wall and Dean Naugle. Pat sings with the group Deep River Choir, but she's also sung solo over the years, and she's really good,” said Hahn, who plays guitar in the group Sallie Rae and the Sequins.
“That's a group I have with friends of mine from church. We just adopted that name. We had a Rockin' with the Cruise out on our lawn the day of the Dream Cruise. We're playing ‘60s songs.”
There's no charge for the Coffee House event but donations are welcome. Enjoy free refreshments. Starr Presbyterian Church is located at 1717 W. 13 Mile at Crooks Road. Park in the lot off of Crooks Road and enter through the glass doors in the back of the church. To learn more, call (248) 288-3230.
Source: South Oakland Citizens for the Homeless