Inn from the Cold began out of a community concern for the growing number of people in Calgary facing homelessness during the bitterly cold winter of 1996-97. It was the faith community who chose to get involved. Volunteers from several churches met in 1997 and a social justice movement started. Today, families and those in need are helped through a shelter and more than 60 churches with the common goal of helping those who need it most.
Knox was the third church to open its doors to provide shelter, a safe and clean place to sleep for the night, good meals, and respect to our homeless guests. Over the past 15 years, Knox has not failed in its commitment. Our volunteers have provided hundreds of Inns at Knox by:
- setting up cots and cribs
- setting up tables and chairs
- preparing and serving dinner
- sharing a meal with our homeless guests
- sometimes playing a game or two of crib
- preparing lunches for our guests to take with them
- staying up overnight in case someone needs us
- cooking and serving breakfast
- cleaning up after everyone has left for their day
Those things haven’t changed much over the years. What has changed are the faces of our guests. Some are so young. All are so frightened and so vulnerable. Many come to Calgary with hope for a better life like many of us. And sometimes life has been hard. That’s why we are an integral part of this ministry. It takes such little effort on our part to connect with our guests and have that action turn into great rewards.
One major change in the last few years was the establishment of the Inn from the Cold Emergency Family Shelter next to the Mustard Seed. This building provides an office for the Society and screening center for guests who will be using the church network of Inns. But what is new is that it also provides semi-permanent housing for homeless families in transition to subsidized housing. Knox cooks dinners for these families twice a month. It is extremely rewarding seeing the number of children there that will soon have a home of their own.
This is really a hands-on way for you to truly make a difference in someone’s life.
It is only for one Sunday/Monday a month but Knox is remembered by our guests as the “Knox Hilton” not because of our facilities in the gym but for our outpouring of help and respect.
We are sponsored by individual donors of our church. If you are interested in joining this team, please contact us through the Knox office at email@example.com