London church trying to bring more people in from the cold
Bryan Bicknell, CTV London
Published Tuesday, January 29, 2019 11:49AM EST
As the region plunges into a deep freeze a small London church is hoping to fill a gap where city shelters are unable to keep up.
Beth Emanuel Church at 430 Grey Street is opening its doors every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights for the next six to eight weeks to provide shelter to those who would otherwise be out in bone-chilling temperatures overnight.
The doors of the church will be open from 9 p.m. until 8 a.m. on each of these nights.
The Out of the Cold initiative is being headed up by the Soho based Urban Haven Project.
The local group is partnering with two other organizations, 519Pursuit and Out of the Cold (Toronto) to make sure no-one has to remain outside in the cold.
“So far we are the only ones that are bridging the gaps between the existing overcrowded shelter services,” says Beth Emanuel Church Pastor Dan Morand.
He’s hoping other local churches and agencies will also step up to help fill the gaps.
During its first few days up and running last week the church was getting as many as 38 people per night coming in from the cold.
The initiative comes as the Middlesex-London Health Unit issued its third Cold Weather Alert of the year.
The alert remains in effect until Thursday morning when temperatures are expected to climb to just over the threshold for a Cold Weather Alert.
In the meantime warming centres with varying hours are being provided at local libraries and community centres.