Room in the Inn, a cold weather shelter program for the homeless, starts Monday in Marshall Co.

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. -- Room in the Inn, a nonprofit organization that's available to the county's homeless during the cold winter months, will start a new season Monday, November 26.

"Room in the Inn is a cold weather shelter program for our neighbors without homes here in Marshall County," explained Marshall County Homeless Ministries executive director Shirley Chupp. "It provides shelter 24/7 once we begin November 26th. We have a day program that's housed at Lifepoint Church in Albertville, and we have a night shelter program that rotates among about 35 participating churches all over the county."

Folks can get hot meals and a place to sleep out of the cold, with transportation to the churches each night. The people who take advantage of the program are drug and alcohol tested and undergo background checks for violent crimes and sexual offenses.

"Once they enter our program they're welcome to stay as long as they need to, as long as they are working toward their goals and following our rules," Chupp explained.

Room in the Inn is one of the few programs available for the homeless in Marshall County.

"I believe ours is the only emergency shelter program," Chupp said, "There are some other programs, we have another program, we have our Neighborhood Inn which is a transitional house, and we can house about 16 there."

"Marshall County might not appear to have a homeless challenge because we don't see people out on the street corners necessarily, or under bridges, or just sleeping out on park benches, but we do have a very real problem," Chupp said.

Room in the Inn starts Monday, November 26, and runs until the end of March. Registration is every day from 12-3 p.m. at Lifepoint Church in Albertville. Lifepoint Church is located at 700 Motley Street. You need a picture ID to sign up.

There are also volunteer opportunities within the organization. There is a need for instructors in the program's personal development classes and with transportation. They're also looking for more churches to participate.

If you want to volunteer or need shelter you can call (256) 677-9231.

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