Church Sees Spike in Homeless Guests

By: Lauren Kravets
By: Lauren Kravets

ROCKFORD (WIFR) – A local church serving as a warming center is seeing an increase in guests. Those in need of shelter are now giving back, helping others in need.

Walking outside in sub-zero temperatures into a warm building is a relief for some homeless people trying to escape the arctic chill.

Apostolic Pentecostal Church of Rockford is seeing double the amount of people this winter. It’s now providing shelter and meals to about 40 people each night.

“It makes you feel good to know these people, if you weren’t here, maybe they’d be cold and outside a know?”

The people they brought inside are even helping the church.

On Mondays the place turns into a food pantry where the homeless, like Larry Crocker are stepping up to help.

Crocker also stays up during two hour night shifts to watch the church while others sleep in the pews or on the floor. But the church is much more than just a warm place to sleep and a hot meal. For some, it’s accountability, faith, and restoration.

“A way for me to get back in touch with God and do what I need to do with my life.”

Church leaders pick up people at 8:30 every night from the Winnebago County Justice Center which serves as another warming site. They bring them back to their church for a warm meal and a place to sleep. They’ll continue to do this through February 28th, unless freezing temperatures stick around. They’re also looking to do something similar when it gets hot outside to give the homeless somewhere cool to stay.

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