People experiencing homelessness in Otsego County will now have a stationary spot to spend the night.
This is because "The Refuge" just got a house — its first permanent location.
Thanks to the Trinity Lutheran Church, the refuge now has a house to bring people in from the cold.
“We just moved in about two weeks ago. Before that we were a roving refuge. We went from place to place,” said Vicky Rigney, vice president of The Refuge.
In its fourth season, The Refuge now has a permanent house.
They’re renting it from the Trinity Lutheran Church for a nominal fee.
“We’re easy to find. We’re in town so we’re accessible to all the businesses where people might find jobs. We’re also accessible to the different agencies so they can get help,”
With a convenient location in Gaylord, guests can stay overnight from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m.
The United Way says having a permanent location will help the refuge help more people.
“Because once we have a permanent place, they do come. And it’s much easier to find homelessness when they come than trying to find them literally at times in the woods… everywhere,” The Otsego County United Way Keith Moore said.
There are eight beds, and room for a few more people to sleep on couches if necessary.
“They don’t have to look for us every night. In the past, they had to find out what church we were at. We are permanent here.”
The Refuge expects to help 600 to 700 people this season — but hopes to help more people as they learn about the new location.
“Hopefully some of the people that walk into the refuge to be safe begin a process to be housed. So that’s the hope.”
The Refuge opens up next week.
If you want to stay at there or volunteer, we have the contact information posted on our website. The phone number is 989-619-1172.