KALAMAZOO, Mich.- More than 300 men, women and children called the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, 448 N. Burdick St. home Monday night into Tuesday morning. While some of them are permanent residents, many of them live in garages, in the woods or on the streets and found the conditions unbearable.
Mike Cook operates the men’s shelter and said in his 7 years at the shelter, this is the coldest many of his residents have ever experienced. Starting at 6 a.m., residents receive one of three hot meals offered throughout the day. Words of encouragement and fellowship are exchanged before hopping into the meal line. On a given day, about 700 meals are served from the mission that relies on community support.
Because frost bite can set in so quickly, the staff also keeps a watchful eye on those coming in off of the street and give them medical attention, if needed.
Maureen Best, Director of the women’s shelter, along with Cook, want to encourage people who really need assistance and have hesitations, to reach out to the mission. The staff will do anything they can to provide comfort in a time of need. Warm meals are provided at 6:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.