GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For 70 years, the Alano Club of Kent County has served as a safe place for those struggling with addiction to gather. But after severe winter weather moved through West Michigan, it welcomed in a new crowd for the holiday weekend.
The county reached out to Executive Director Lisa Derr to see if the club would become a warming station during the storm. Derr said she agreed to it without hesitation.
“They did a little outreach to see if we’d be interested in being a warming station for people knowing that the cold weather’s coming around, and we were 100% all in for that,” Derr said.
More than a dozen new faces spent the better part of the past week as guests at the Alano Club, staying warm, enjoying refreshments and spending the holiday with others. Derr said that the club was more than prepared for the influx of guests and welcomes anyone in need of help to their Grand Rapids location.
“This is an ideal area, it’s an ideal space for people to come in, stay out of the cold and have a safe space to enjoy a cup of coffee and fellowship as well,” she said.
Even with the additional number of guests, Derr said she couldn’t help but feel a sense of joy seeing everyone make the best of the holiday.
“A lot of people that struggle alone is a challenge and a lot of people who don’t have family members of loved ones to be around during the holidays, this is definitely a place for people to come and are welcomed and not judged,” she said.
The Alano Club is still accepting donations of any kind to help care for those who use the facility. If you would like to place a donation online, click here. If you would like to contact the office for more information, call 616.456.5709.