OLDHAM – An Oldham mosque has opened its doors since Monday to welcome anyone in need of refuge due to the severe cold weather which has hit Greater Manchester and kept a large areas of Northern Europe under a record late winter snow.
“If there is a need we will be open throughout the night and until needed,” Mohammed Iqbal, the center’s imam, told Geo.tv.
“We have provided warm clothes to many homeless people but last night we realized those clothes aren’t going to be enough so we now want to open our doors because they too deserve to stay in a place that is warm.”
He added, “This year, the weather has been really bad, the number of rough sleepers in the town has grown immensely so we really felt like this was the right thing to do.”
The European Islamic Centre (EIC) is one of the largest Muslim facilities in the northwest, which can accommodate up to 5,000 worshipers
They also have spare rooms to accommodate the homeless.
The mosque is expected to shelter 10 to 15 people per night, including many youths.
“Volunteers are primarily youth themselves, they wanted to help because they have heard about the homeless crisis in Greater Manchester and fentanyl death,” Iqbal said.
“If you know anyone who is homeless and sleeping out, then ring or bring them to EIC and we will provide them with shelter and food.”
The ‘Beast from the East’ has hit Greater Manchester, bringing snow and bitterly cold temperatures to the region.
The polar blast from Siberia has seen temperatures dip to around -6C. It is reported to be the coldest February in five years.