MILWAUKEE — They have been working for decades to help people recover from addiction and now the Twelve Step Club needs your help.
With cooler months approaching, its decades-old boiler is failing. Leaders at the club said they desperately need a boiler or they can be forced to close, leaving many people dealing with addiction without a place to go.
Inside the club, dominoes, laughter and good clean fun. For 50 years, the Twelve-Step Club just off Fond du Lac and Townsend, has provided those dealing with addiction, and their families a place to hang out and get help.
“This is like a safe haven here, where you can bring your family and hang out,” said Club President Robert Bellinger.
Just beneath all the fun, the severe problem threatens operations at the nonprofit.
"It’s on its last, last legs.” Wilmur Hunter said, describing the boiler.
The club now has leaking pipes and needs a new boiler to keep the building warm. For now, it runs constantly because club leadership fears it may not start again.
With temperatures in the low twenties, those concerns are only amplified as the wintry weather looms.
The cost to purchase and install a new boiler is $12,000. A GoFundMe was started to help cover costs for the purchase.
"This is a commercial building. It’s very big to heat and in order to install it would be a whole lot of money we don’t have,” said Angela Yancey said.
Yancey started the GoFundMe
Bellenger wants to continue make sure his members know they have a warm, safe place to go to have fun, and stay clean and out of trouble.
"If they’re here, (then) they (are) not out there doing the crazy stuff that’s out there,” he said.
Yancey added her thoughts.
“Without that heat, we will have to shut down then what are people going to do when they have nowhere to go, they pull on that door and its closed,” she said.
You can visit the GoFundMe here.