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Royal Oak Service Clubs Break Bread with the Homeless

A recent cold snap is a reminder for the need for a winter day shelter for Royal Oak's homeless population.

Guests of the Welcome Inn arrive for lunch on Friday. Credit: Judy Davids
Guests of the Welcome Inn arrive for lunch on Friday. Credit: Judy Davids

Members of local service clubs sat down with the homeless Friday to break bread at the Welcome Inn – a day warming center located in the basement of Starr Presbyterian Church in Royal Oak.

Visitors looking for a warm meal and an escape from the cold were served casseroles, salads, fruits and desserts alongside members of the Inter-Club Council, whose participants represent faith groups, schools and service clubs.

The Inter-Club Council, which meets each month to share information about Royal Oak's various organizations and events over lunch, presented the Welcome Inn with a check for  $750 to assist the warming center with its operating expenses.

Roy Watson, executive director of the Welcome Inn, thanked members for the donation and for paying $8 for the lunch that – thanks to the generosity of volunteers and partnerships – costs 79 cents to prepare.

“I wanted you to eat what our guests eat,” Watson said. “I wanted you to see it’s a substantial hot meal that is filling and nutritious.”

The non-profit day center, which opened its doors 13 years ago, serves more than 4,000 meals during the three months of winter it’s open.

“We open at 6:30 each morning. It doesn’t matter if it’s 40 degrees or zero. Once it starts snowing the homeless need a place to be warm,” Watson said.

In addition to hot meals, Welcome Inn guests, mostly men aged 21 to 68, have access to nurses, social workers, reading materials, substance abuse meetings, computer training, legal advice, clothing, fellowship and more. 

It's a place to find warmth—both physical and spiritual, Watson said.


How you can help


The Welcome Inn is in need of the following items: 

  • thermal underwear (tops and bottoms)
  • heavy socks
  • bags and/or Backpacks
  • deodorant
  • cough drops
  • eggs
  • fruit
  • milk
  • cereal (hot and cold)
  • salad and salad fixings
  • Dell Photo 864 Cartridges (color/Black)
  • name badge holders

Donations may be dropped off weekdays between 9 a.m - 5 p.m. at Starr Presbyterian, located at 1717 W. 13 Mile Rd.

Jennifer Ward January 11, 2014 at 09:23 AM
Another way to support The Welcome Inn and be entertained...attend "The Bible on Broadway: Revised Version" on Saturday, January 25, 4:00 at 1st Congregational Church of Royal Oak. A musical walk thru the Bible, our show features songs from some of the best Broadway shows, including "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", "Children of Eden", "Jesus Christ Super Star" and more. Performers are some of the areas best local talents with special guest Bobby Mitchell from "The Bobby and Stacy Show" WOMC 104.3FM. Tickets are $20 adult/$10 youth and can be purchased at several local churches, or at the door.

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