UPDATE: Superior Connections says its Marquette overnight homeless shelter continues to operate

Superior Connections says its shelter has operated each and every night since Oct. 7, 2022, and continues to provide homeless support services.
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 7:53 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2023 at 10:34 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - UPDATE: The following is a statement from Kim Frost with Superior Connections Recovery Community Organization. Frost says the information that Room at the Inn provided is false. This statement was received after TV6 published this story Thursday evening:

“Superior Connections Recovery Community Organization, a local non-profit who has multiple programs serving Marquette County residents has been made aware of a recent article published by TV6 on 6-1-2023, based on information provided by Room at the Inn of Marquette Michigan. The information provided to TV6 regarding the nature and status of the Superior Connections shelter is completely non-factual, misleading and in no way accurately reflects the services provided to Superior Connections individuals served who are experiencing homelessness. Superior Connections shelter has operated each and every night since October 7th, 2022 and continues to provide homeless support services, including overnight shelter. We have served as many as 36 individuals per night, with an average number of nightly guests being approximately 24. Superior Connections provides these services with ZERO governmental funding, relying on the generosity of a small number of churches who hosted the shelter, a few local businesses who made donations and a GoFundMe campaign. The focus of the Superior Connections Recovery Community Organization is and always has been to provide safe, inclusive and quality services and supports to those we serve, including those in the Superior Connections overnight emergency shelter. The misinformation provided by Room at the Inn to TV6 regarding the status of Superior Connections shelter is not only not based in fact, but it is also extremely detrimental and destructive to those seeking services and disruptive to the provision of homelessness services in Marquette County. We encourage you to check out the Superior Connections Recovery Community Organization website at superiorconnectionsrco.org

ORIGINAL STORY: The Room at the Inn received word that an unaffiliated organization, Superior Connections, has stopped temporarily housing people in Marquette churches.

Room at the Inn said Superior Connections had 30 people experiencing homelessness who used the services before they stopped.

Room at the Inn Executive Director Stephen Krygier said his organization was able to take in some of the people that were displaced by the closure.

“We are focused on trying to coordinate and try and make sure that we’re providing as beneficial of an option for persons looking for a bed, or showers, or two meals within a given day,” Krygier said.

The Room at the Inn offers on-site housing, showers, and meals. However, if a person does not want to stay at their shelter, Room at the Inn will refer them to other organizations.

Krygier said when Superior Connections stopped offering housing, a lack of notice left staff at Room at the Inn scrambling to provide those services.

“We knew that should there no longer be available services, or someone does not wish to proceed with our behavioral expectations, or that this just wasn’t the right space for them, we previously had an understanding for communication to redirect persons to an alternative service,” Krygier said. “At the moment, we do not have that line of communication, we don’t know where to redirect, when or how to get them connected.”

Krygier said community organizations need to communicate to ensure the safety of those in their care.

“Without communication, it’s essentially putting people into the unknown, and certainly during the colder months,” Krygier said. “They could be arriving at a new destination without available resources, without having that confirmation, and being left to the frigid air, being put into harm’s way.”

TV6 reached out for several days to the Executive Director for Superior Connections but has not heard back.

The First Presbyterian Church in Marquette said that the church is no longer being used for housing and their residents are displaced.

A statement from the church is being prepared but has not been released at this time.