When the call came in that the region’s overflow shelter wasn’t ready in time for the early winter weather in Kitchener, The Working Centre and St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church on Duke Street stepped up to help those in need. They have been providing shelter to the homeless in the area on cold nights since.
Rianne Rops, the church’s outreach coordinator, said they’ve had as many as 116 people spending the night. But on the first night, there were 60. “People came in, they sat down, they started chatting amongst themselves,” explained Rops. “We had some food out, we had some coffee out.” That’s 60 people who would have otherwise been out in the cold on that November 11th winter storm.
But it didn’t happen on it’s own, it took Rops emailing parishioners asking for blankets and snacks, and volunteers are needed to mind the space. Now, there are five people, including a Nurse, at the church every night to help out. “The group has been very much self regulating, if there’s a problem coming up – even if someone is looking for housing – people from the community are saying, ‘Have you tried this resource?'” explained Rops.
It is a decision that kept people from possibly suffering injuries, ailments, or even freezing to death. And it’s your Good News Story of the Day, read more here. It also seemed to be the obvious thing to do to Rianne Rops – “It’s freezing outside. There’s nowhere for people to go. We have a massive hall, and it’s not being used anyways,” said Rops. “It really wasn’t a choice, it was just, ‘This is what we do.'” If we want to be followers of Christ, this is just what we do.
Story and Image from CBC News.