Logan Square Church Provides Emergency Shelter, Breaks Bread

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

As arctic temperatures endanger Chicago residents, a local community organization recognized the urgent need to shield those from the bone-chilling cold.

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, located at 2649 N. Francisco Ave. in Logan Square, opened an emergency warming center last Monday from 3 PM to 8 PM in the neighborhood, providing food, beverage and a warm shelter from the harsh elements.

This emergency warming center was organized and prepared in a last minute effort by St. Luke’s Community Dinners Director Christa Creps. She used social media to spread the word about the warming center as well as petitioned volunteers to help the needy during their stay.

The Community Dinners staff decided to open the warming center at St. Luke’s because although the City of Chicago does provide warming centers, the sites are limited and located mostly in the far South side and West side areas.

“It was a last minute decision, seeing there weren’t many other places open in the nearby area. It’s difficult to even walk a block when the weather is like this,” Creps said. “Having a warming center miles away is doesn’t going to do good if you don’t have a bus pass.”

On Monday, Creps said that fifteen volunteers showed up to help those in the warming centers and brought potluck style items such as spaghetti, quinoa and chili to help residents be calm and relax before transitioning to another shelter after 8 PM.

This emergency warming center organized by Community Dinners is one of many efforts to aid the homeless residents of Chicago.

In partnership with the Northwestern Food Pantry and the Homelessness and Hunger Coalition based in Humboldt Park, St. Luke’s hosts Community Dinners that serve nearly 60 people every week as well as break down barriers within the Logan Square neighborhood.

At these weekly get-togethers, well fed and underfed diners are given a safe space to communicate and understand one another. Diners are given a worthwhile eating experience when the doors open at 5 PM each Wednesday at St. Luke’s and are seated at tables covered with white cloth and candles.

In addition to the hearty meals, Community Dinners also provide valuable care resources including on-site social workers, lectures on healthcare and recipe tutorials.

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