John 3:16 Mission Offers Warm Place For Homeless Stuck In Cold

Sunday, February 2nd 2014, 11:20 pm
By: Tess Maune

The freezing temps, in addition to the snow can create a deadly combination, especially for those who live on the streets.

But right now, the doors are open at John 3:16 Mission for anyone who may be in need of a warm place to lay their head.

"We've got hot chocolate out, coffee and places for people to come in and get warm off the streets," Rev. Steve Whitaker said.

Whitaker knows snow is on the ground and freezing temperatures are in the forecast, the John 3:16 Mission is going to fill up fast.

" We want to do all we can to get as many people as we can in," he said.

There's normally a limit on how many people can stay overnight, but in bitterly cold weather Whitaker says the number of beds don't matter.

"If we don't have bed, sometimes they wind up sleeping in the lobby on a mat or on a blanket, but we don't really turn anybody away if they come to the mission and the weather is like this," Whitaker said.

Although anyone is welcome at the mission, Whitaker said there will still be some who will try to fight the cold to sleep outside.

"Sometimes people stay out just because they're prideful," he said. "Maybe that's a good pride, maybe that's a bad pride, I don't know how to describe that. I just think some people really want to try and make it on their own."

So far this winter, Whitaker says the subzero temperatures have claimed the lives of two people in the homeless community.

That's two too many, he says, which is why the Mission makes a promise to pick up anyone who might be faced with a freezing night on the streets.

"If they [are] somebody that looks like they're clearly too cold and they need help, then call us up, we'll do something about that," he said.

Whitaker says John 3:16 also works closely with the Salvation Army and the Daycenter for the Homeless to make sure everyone has a place to go at night.