A year ago, Kyle Hiemstra panhandled and drank most days. He spent his nights sleeping in parking garages. Then, last spring, he started staying in the basement of Ottawa’s First Baptist Church once a week, along with as many as five other youths in need of emergency shelter.
As the winter weather worsens, Ottawa’s homeless try to find a place to escape from the cold. But many local shelters are facing difficulties of their own.
Does God have an image problem? More and more, I have heard Christians asking this question. They see the people in their communities rejecting the gospel and they want to know if it is because they have not heard about God’s great and transforming love. Some address this concern with efforts to create better music, better videos or literature that is relevant to our age.
The basement of a downtown church should be transformed soon into a small, temporary homeless shelter for youth after a city committee recently approved a zoning change to permit the charitable outreach initiative.
Rogers Television’s Mark Sutcliffe speaks to Councillor Steve Desroches from Gloucester South Nepean and Chair of the Ottawa Community Housing Board, Councillor Mark Taylor from Bay ward and Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee, Ashley Augstman for Operation Come Home and Jason Pino from Restoring Hope.