Home Christian News Churches Help Save Lives as Homeless Face Hazardous Winter Weather

Churches Help Save Lives as Homeless Face Hazardous Winter Weather

Keith McCormish, director of Columbus’s Coalition for the Homeless, said his organization estimates there are 300 to 500 people in Columbus who are homeless, but are not sleeping in a shelter. Vertical 196 Hope Center and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, both in nearby Newark, Ohio, will also be providing warming centers this weekend. 

Several churches and ministries throughout Texas are doing the same. In San Antonio, Pastor Jimmy Robles and his church, Last Chance Ministries, are busing people to one of the church’s locations where those in need can get a hot meal, a hot shower, and a place to sleep. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Denison, Texas, opened its warming center Thursday night and will keep the center available for the duration of the inclement weather. “The coffee pot will be on all night long,” Father Don Perschell told KXII News. Lamar Avenue Church of Christ in Paris, Texas, will function as a warming center from Friday to Tuesday.

Volunteers with Renovation Community Church in Fort Worth decided it was worth the risk  of exposing themselves to COVID-19 if their efforts to provide a warming center could save someone’s life. “[COVID-19] is a concern,” lead pastor Chris Branigan told CBS 11 News’ Robbie Owens. “I have a lot of health problems myself. But what’s more concerning right now with several days being below freezing as a high is that people on the streets are, honestly, in the next few days more at risk of dying from exposure than dying from COVID.”

OurCalling, a faith-based organization that serves people experiencing homelessness in Dallas, Texas, is risking being fined by the city due to an ordinance prohibiting offering shelter in the downtown area. OurCalling’s founder Wayne Walker told Owens, “There’s a lot better solutions than playing politics, especially when life and death are at play.”

Other states where churches are assisting local shelters include Tennessee and Missouri. Brentwood Christian Church in Springfield, Mo., is one of four churches in the city that will function as a warming center for people in need this weekend. 

In Colorado, organizations that serve the homeless population all year long are doing what they can in the face of this weekend’s winter weather. Temperatures are forecast to fall below zero in Denver, and the Denver Rescue Mission (DRM) is joining city police and firefighters in gearing up for the coming challenges. A Christian organization, DRM’s “history is rooted in a love of Christ and a commitment to share that love with others.” DRM spokeswoman Nicole Tschetter told The Denver Post that this weekend, “Our main goal, working with the city of Denver and other shelter providers, is to make sure that everyone has a hot meal and a warm place to stay overnight.”