For people experiencing homelessness, winter is a brutal challenge. In light of this, the oldest mosque in Canada has opened its doors to shelter community members facing this challenge.
“We have about 10 individuals staying at the mosque here with us during the day, the team is putting together a nice brunch for them to help them kick off the new year with a little bit of positivity and hope,” said Noor Al-Henedy, director of communications, Global News reported.
The mosque opened its doors when the city activated its extreme weather response last month. The shelter was supposed to end its services December 31, but extended it to January.
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Because of the cold weather, the mosque said it would ensure to keep its shelter open.
“We have a lot of guests here with their feet full of frostbite, they can’t move their hands, they can’t even feel their hands, they’re in crucial pain and they have nowhere to go,” Al-Henedy said.
For now, the mosque’s shelter is planning to stay open until at least Jan. 9.
“We felt it was very important to keep this space open, we do not want anyone to be sleeping outside when it’s minus 30 or minus 40,” Al-Henedy said.
Al Rashid started as the first Mosque in Canada (in 1938) and has grown into one of the leading charitable Muslim organizations in the country, with an array of development initiatives in the Edmonton Muslim community.
This gracious act from Al Rashid Mosque falls in line with a similar pattern adopted by several mosques and Islamic centers, catering to the needs of the homeless.
In January 2020, the mosque opened its doors to rough sleepers and homeless people during cold winter weather.
A year earlier in February 2019, the same mosque opened its doors to shelter the needy and homeless of all faiths.