South Bend church continues to offer its basement as a warming center for people in need this winter

NOW: South Bend church continues to offer its basement as a warming center for people in need this winter

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- With dangerously cold temps outside, warming centers and shelters are ready to serve the community.

Non-profit organizations offer winter amnesty programs for people in need to stay overnight, and at the Miracle Revival Church, they aim to give those same people a place to go during the day.

“We’re here. We’ve had people that lost their house, and they don’t have anywhere to go and that kind of thing," said Andrew Snyder, the Pastor at Miracle Revival. "We’re here for them to stand up under the trials.”

The Miracle Revival Church established its warming center back in 2019, to be a place where homeless people-- or those who just need a warm place to get out of the cold-- can gather, offering them food items, like snacks, coffee and hot chocolate, as well as blankets. 

Pastor Snyder said they created the warming center in part because the St. Joseph County Library, where many people would go in the winter, was closed for renovations. But even now that the library is back open, they're still ready to serve.

“On a typical day, it’s been about twenty people, coming in and out,” he said, but with frigid temperatures coming-- “We anticipate this could just be a full house, forty or fifty people.”

And Snyder said that they're prepared for it: “We just go with the flow If we get a whole bunch of people down here, it’s fine.”

Though he added that he won't turn anyone away if they don't have a mask, but with the spread of the Omicron variant, he hopes that whoever does come into the shelter will do what they feel they need to do to be safe. 

“Whatever they want to do to keep themselves safe, they’re more than welcome to," he said. "I don’t condemn people. If they wanna wear a mask, go ahead. If you feel comfortable without one, go ahead. Everyone’s accountable for themselves.”

In spite of the difficulties with the Coronavirus, Snyder hopes that the Miracle Revival Church's warming center can be a shelter for the people in need in the community. 

He said “A lot of the people in South Bend are oppressed and they’re just having difficulties in life, and they don’t have anywhere to go when the weather turns. And the city is doing a good job in standing up and helping people, but it takes more than just the city, and as a member of the community, we knew that we could do this and be a blessing to everyone in South Bend.”

For those interested in making a donation, Pastor Snyder said it would be best to come by, at 415 Lasalle Ave. 

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