Mosque in Edmonton becomes homeless shelter from extreme weather

In addition to shelter, the mosque offers hot meals and basic necessities.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, EDMONTON — The Al Rashid Mosque in Edmonton, Canada has opened its doors to residents who needed shelter during the extreme cold that hit the city. For the fourth consecutive year, the mosque provided free beds and warm rooms for the homeless during cold weather.

The mosques opened when the City of Edmonton activated its extreme weather response Nov. 29 to help keep vulnerable Edmontonians safe in cold weather.

“Providing care and compassion for other human beings is central to Islam. The existence of countless homeless citizens in Edmonton shows the need for all of us to step up and lend a hand,” said Sadistic Imam Pathan of the Al Rashid Mosque, as reported by the BBC. About Islam Friday (23/12/2022).

The City’s extreme weather response activation threshold is minus 20 degrees Celsius with wind chill for at least three consecutive nights and a shelter utilization rate of over 90%. According to the Homeward Trust, more than 2,700 Edmonton residents are homeless. Among them, more than 800 would live outside.

The mosque offers 75 beds, open from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. every day. In addition to shelter, the mosque provides guests with hot food and essentials to keep them safe and warm.

The mosque thanked Islamic Relief Canada for providing 100 winter heaters for the shelter. This hospitable act by Masjid Al Rashid is in line with a similar model adopted by several mosques and Islamic centers to meet the needs of the homeless.

Last January, it opened its doors to shelter the public facing the winter cold in the streets. In January 2020, the mosque opened its doors to homeless people during the winter. A year earlier, in February 2019, the same mosque opened its doors to welcome the poor and homeless of all faiths.

Lonnie Kimmons

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