Kalamazoo Gospel Mission provides warm shelter for all

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KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. -- Freezing temperatures left Kalamazoo's Bronson Park empty. It's one of several areas the city's homeless population often congregates.

People poured into the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, Thursday afternoon.

“We all love you. Pastor Brown love you. But most of all, Jesus love you," a man told people at the mission.

A lengthy line rounded the corner for a warm meal.

“This weather makes it tough. Now we’ve got more people who are coming in to get out of the elements during the day. We’ve got more people who are coming in to eat," Michael Brown, CEO of the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission said.

Currently, Brown said half of the cafeteria is under renovation. With less space to serve, they’re extending kitchen hours to accommodate.

“We’re feeding until everybody’s fed," Brown said.

Meals are prepared throughout the day for men, women, and children in need.

“Just because of the weather. I mean, we want to make that people have something hot. Something like my mother used to say. Something that’s gone stick to your ribs," Brown said.

The shelter has an open door policy. So when the beds are full, hundreds of mats are placed on the floors so everyone has a warm place to sleep.

Last night, the mission said they provided shelter for an extra 91 men who slept on mats. They've had upwards of 106 men sleeping on the mats "at any one given time for the emergency overnight." The same goes for the women and children's portion of the shelter.

"And we have mothers sleeping with their children, but we have staff that circulate during the night to make sure everybody's safe. [We] make sure they have the blankets they need, and they're warm," Brown explained.

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