Helen Henricks, co-director of Share the Warmth here in Adrian, along with Jeanette Henegan, board member, spoke to us today about the wonderful services they provide to the needy and homeless in Lenawee County. The shelter that they run has outgrown its borrowed space in the former chapel of the Salvation Army Building, citing a 30 percent increase in residents this year. The Adrian homeless shelter, Helen announced has launched a $1.4 million capital campaign to expand its services to the adult homeless population in Lenawee County by establishing a year-round emergency shelter in Adrian with handicap accessibility and shower and laundry facilities.
The Share the Warmth board is convinced that our community needs a 24-hour, year-round structure offering a safe, welcoming environment with hygiene facilities for people experiencing homelessness, Helen said. A new board of directors has been formed to oversee the fundraising campaign. The members of the new board are Gregg Bodnar, Jeanette Henegan, Sara Bingham Herriman, David Munson, Sister Jeane O’Laughlin, O.P., Sister Pat Schnapp, R.S.M., and Patience Vrieze-See.
The effort was given a kick-start by the Adrian Dominican Sisters who donated a building to Share the Warmth that had been bequeathed to the congregation by the late Dr. John Beaubien. Although the donated building is too small to serve as a site for the proposed shelter, proceeds from its sale will help Share the Warmth acquire a suitable site, as the development effort raises the funds needed for building renovation and initial operating costs.
The Adrian Dominican Sisters have a long relationship with Share the Warmth, with a number of its members serving as volunteers at the shelter and participating in its winter sheet-laundering program including the Murray’s.
The mission of the Walk for Warmth organization, Jeanette said, is to work with others for the benefit of the local homeless. Share the Warmth’s intention is to work in concert with other service agencies, not to duplicate them. They plan to partner with community services to promote self-sufficiency.
Donations or requests for information about Share the Warmth can be directed to Helen Henricks at 517-203-9857 or helenhenricks@gmail.com. Share the Warmth’s mailing address is P. O. Box 726, Adrian, MI 49221