Birmingham’s Green Lane Mosque and Community Centre (GLCC) has opened its doors to the homeless during a stretch of extremely cold weather in February.
The mosque launched its winter freeze project to help protect the homeless as we saw sub-zero temperatures this month.
The initiative was Humayun Saleem’s idea, GLCC’s head of welfare services, who was worried about the soaring number of homeless people on the streets in the freezing cold weather.
The project was launched at end of January and on the first night the mosque open its doors, four homeless people benefitted from the scheme.
On the third night, there were 12 homeless people who had made their way to the mosque as it started raining and the word spread about GLCC’s open-door policy.
The newly appointed general manager at the mosque, Kamran Hussain said that whilst numerous organisations are doing a good work in providing free food, the homeless cannot be sleeping on the streets in this weather.
Mr Kamran told the Birmingham Mail: “Walking around the city centre at night you see all the homeless huddled in doorways. They sleep on concrete floors in freezing temperatures.
“In Birmingham there have been cases of homeless people freezing to death and we want to help avoid this.”
GLMCC also serve hot food, drinks and snacks to those staying over for the night.
The project is still running throughout February, after which the mosque will assess how long it will continue for.
Mr Saleem added: “We have had local takeaways and restaurants taking part by providing free food.
“We had such a good response from our request for food from local restaurants that the volunteers have been able to go back out every evening and distribute food to the rough sleepers. On our first night, we distributed 50 food packs in minutes.
“Our service supports everyone regardless of race, creed or background. We do not discriminate. People are in need and it’s our Islamic duty to help.”
GLMCC has been running an established foodbank for some years now, and staff recently enhanced the service by including a kitchen that distributes food to the needy in and around Small Heath every Saturday evening.
If you would like to get involved with the winter freeze project, please contact Qais Khizar on 0121 713 0080.