Imagine trying to make it down two stories around a building in a wheelchair, or even with a cane...in the middle of a Michigan winter. That's what some of our guests have had to do in the past. Let's make that long, difficult trip a thing of the past. We're raising $5,000!
Send a check payable to
The Refuge Lapeer
P.O. Box 1435
Lapeer, Michigan 48446
Please go to our page How Your Church Can Get Involved. Even if you are not a church, but another ministry or Christian club that has a building and volunteers, you too can partner with us.
The Refuge Lapeer Homeless Shelter partners with local churches in order to give food and shelter to the homeless of Lapeer County during the winter months of the year. Every November to April, The Refuge Lapeer hosts guests rotationally at Lapeer County churches. Shelter includes bedding/privacy for the night, food, access to clothing, and access to job-search transportation. The Refuge Lapeer needs volunteers to help at local churches during hosting.
We often get inquiries about clothing donations. We do not accept clothing; however, we have partnered with New To You Consignment in downtown Lapeer to receive donations of clothing and other items on our behalf. If you want to donate clothing or any other items to The Refuge, you can take them to New To You Consignment and donate on behalf of The Refuge. If our guests have need of clothing, coats, shoes, boots, etc., they can receive a special voucher from The Refuge to get clothing at no cost to the guest. Also, when any other donations on behalf of The Refuge are sold, a portion of the proceeds go to The Refuge and will be used to help our guests.
New To You Consignment
286 West Nepessing Street, downtown Lapeer, Michigan
Tell them you are donating for The Refuge Lapeer.
Our Day Center is open year round during the day to give aid to the homeless and other displaced people in our area. Please contact us if you would like to help with the Day Center.
The Refuge Lapeer provides meals to guests while they are staying at churches. Volunteers are needed to make meals and serve them.
The Refuge Lapeer provides educational and vocational services. Please contact us to learn more.
The Refuge Lapeer seeks to provide permanent housing for guests. If you have housing to provide or would like to assist in this goal, please contact us.
The Refuge Lapeer provides spiritual support and guidance for those guests who desire such assistance. Please contact us if you can help in this area.
The Refuge Lapeer hosts various fundraising events throughout the year. Please contact us if you would like to participate in one of these worthy events to help us run The Refuge.
Please contact us if you are interested in joining The Refuge Lapeer Board of Directors.
Most of the work in caring for the homeless in our shelter is provided by volunteers from the local churches and the community at large. Below you will find our daily and overnight schedule and the required volunteer positions for each shift. What follows are descriptions for each position required.
We post to our Facebook page when volunteer positions are available.
Day Operations at Restoration Center
8 am – 12 pm – Attendant: male and female
12 pm – 4 pm – Attendant: male and female
4 pm – 6 pm – Attendant: male and female
Check-In Operation Times
5:30 am – 6:30 pm: Volunteer Attendant: male and female @ Restoration Center
Day Attendant: Interact with the guests of The Refuge during the day, coaching them in their goals and overseeing the facilities and resources. Training required.
Check-In Process: All our homeless guests are checked in daily. This process involves a breathalyzer test, an electronic pat-down, and search of belongings for contraband. This position must always be accompanied by at least one male and one female. This position also requires proper training (that we provide) and a signed volunteer agreement form available online.
All volunteers must sign a volunteer agreement form. Please click the link to the right to sign the agreement. You only need to do this once a year.
What happens if a guest is sick or injured?
In the event of an injury or sickness, if necessary, volunteers should call 911. Otherwise, volunteers should ask the guest if her or she would like to go to the hospital. If yes, volunteers are not to transport the guest. Instead, call an ambulance. Please make it clear to the guest that if he/she wants to go to the hospital and an ambulance must be called, they are responsible for all charges incurred.
Volunteers should contact the on-call nurse if they need assistance. Find out from the manager the nurse that is on call.
Volunteer should make sure that they contact the manager let them know that a guest is sick and what procedures have been followed.
When and how to use the first-aid kit?
The first-aid kit will be in the designated for volunteer area. This kit contains many supplies needed for various ailments or injuries. Please use as needed.
If using over the over-the-counter topical creams and/or medications such as Tylenol, etc., please use the OTC Form located in The Refuge Folder. Once a volunteer fills out the form, they should place the form back into The Refuge Folder.
What are guidelines for interacting with guests?
How do I handle a conflict with a guest?
If a guest becomes disruptive or disrespectful towards any other guest or staff, proceed with the following:
If it is not a situation for dismissal, calmly and firmly remind him/her what is the expected behavior. Remind him/her that he/she signed a contract agreeing to the following expectations. If it is not a situation for dismissal and you need assistance in solving the issue, call your manager. Managers have the right to dismiss a guest for any relevant reason:
Please contact your manager if a guest has an item they are not allowed to have.
An Incident Form MUST be filled out for ANY guest that does not comply with the expectations listed. Fill the form out and place in the The Refuge Folder in the designated volunteer area. Then notify your manager. Incident Forms are found in The Refuge Folder in the designated volunteer area.
What do I do if a guest is coming later to the Host Site?
Sometimes we have guests that must work or have meetings that are after normal check-in times. If there is a guest arriving late, follow these guidelines:
Volunteering to Provide a Meal
All of our homeless guests are provided a proper meal each night. The meal should be at the Restoration Center by 6:30 pm. Volunteers providing dinner need to deliver meals in an individual ready to go box for each guest. This can be a home cooked meal or a purchased meal (ie: KFC/Pizza). If individual ready-to-go boxes cannot be prepared, meals maybe delivered in bulk (chili, sloppy-joes, etc.) and served by staff; this must be pre-arranged. Donations also are requested for breakfasts and lunch during the day. Food Safe Service guidelines are required. No training is needed for this position.
What are the rules for lights out?
Dial 911 for any medical emergency or if you suspect the safety of the guests, volunteers, or yourself is in question.