Shelter from the storm_ Excessive climate and the responsibility of religion teams

Al Rashid Mosque in Edmonton, Alta., is Canada’s oldest mosque. Its members know a factor or two about caring for group. With town’s harsh winters and growing excessive climate occasions, Al Rashid is supporting a few of its most susceptible neighbours — these experiencing homelessness — by opening their doorways as a shelter. Noor Al-Henedy is director on the mosque. She remembers the night time in 2018 once they discovered {that a} man had froze to loss of life in a bus shelter. Noor Al-Henedy is director on the mosque. Picture by Guava Productions “It had a really deep affect. We couldn’t bear this whereas we had been all heat in our homes,” she says. “We’re a mosque. We weren’t ready to be a shelter, however we understood that [city] shelters had been getting full, and that additionally, some individuals weren’t snug going to shelters.” Get every day information from Canada’s Nationwide Observer The mosque group determined that night time they might be a spot to supply pressing shelter for the homeless.

“All of us got here collectively immediately, magnificently, fantastically,” Noor remembers. “The response from the broader group was overwhelming as properly, with nurses, social employees and residents establishing, cooking meals, connecting our friends to providers and far more. We determined it was one thing we should always at all times do.” In 2022, the mosque partnered with the Mustard Seed and the Metropolis of Edmonton so as to add the mosque on transit bus route maps. The Mustard Seed, a non-profit serving 5 cities in Alberta and B.C., has been coaching mosque volunteers on the way to hold its friends correctly sheltered. Jacinda Ardern’s resignation underscores the rising violence in our politics Noor says that on a typical day, they obtain about 30 to 50 friends. She admits that it’s no simple activity for a faith-based group to grow to be an in a single day shelter, given the potential for varied crises, corresponding to psychological well being points. She factors out that these organizations are usually not funded by the federal government however by donors. “So, sources could be a problem. The mosque group raised $17,000 only for this one undertaking. We additionally employed in a single day safety.”

One other problem is retaining volunteers. Noor attributes the Al Rashid group’s involvement in caring for individuals to their religion. “Doing acts of charity is deeply rooted inside our perception system, it’s one thing we at all times carry with us. Acts of charity flip off the anger of God. Any act of kindness, even a smile, counts.” Religion-based teams in Ontario and Alberta are serving to their communities take care of the ravages of local weather change, writes @BeatriceEkoko #ClimateAction #ClimateChange #Hamilton #Ontario Close to local weather change, “the dialog is occurring,” Noor says. “2021/2022 was one of many coldest we’ve seen in Alberta within the final 15 years.” A Higher Tent Metropolis Laura Hamilton of A Higher Tent Metropolis. Picture by Jennifer Moore

For Laura Hamilton of A Higher Tent Metropolis in Ontario’s Waterloo Area, the intersection between local weather change, local weather justice and homelessness is self-evident. Established in 2020, A Higher Tent Metropolis is a cabin group for individuals experiencing homelessness for whom the shelter system doesn’t work, or who’re unable to entry housing. The group gives them with a tiny residence of their very own. Hamilton started to view the problem of homelessness by means of the lens of local weather change in her position as a group organizer with Divest Waterloo, itself a chapter of Religion & the Widespread Good, a nationwide, faith-based environmental community that since 2015 has been exploring fashions for neighbourhood-based excessive climate resilience with a selected give attention to susceptible populations.