2019 Columbia Values Diversity Award Winner: Room at the Inn

Since 2008, Room at the Inn has provided winter shelter for homeless adults. From December through mid-March each year, Room at the Inn has provided a clean, safe place to warm up, have a meal, and get a good night’s sleep. Funded by private donations over its first ten years of operation, this not-for-profit enterprise received some financial assistance from the City of Columbia in fiscal 2019. According to Brent Lowenberg, who nominated Room at the Inn for this award, there is a paid coordinator and at least one paid staff member present when the shelter is open; but the bulk of the work is done by over 500 community volunteers who do everything from site preparation and clean up to laundry of the bedding each night and assisting in the supervision of the shelter’s residents.