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Posted: Wednesday, January 22nd 2014 at 10:39pm

Cumming church offers shelter amid freezing temps

By Bryan Pirkle Staff
click to enlarge
Pastor Hal Hardy with wife Sondra (photo courtesy of Highlands Church)
With winter weather and frigid temperatures posing a number of risks to north Georgians, the congregation of Highlands Church in Cumming has announced they will open their doors to anyone without adequate shelter or heat over the next two days.

According to Pastor Hal Hardy, on January 23rd and 24th, from 8:00 p.m. through 8:00 a.m. the following morning, any individual struggling with the freezing conditions is welcome to come to the church, which will be providing those in need with necessary provisions.

“From 8 p.m. on, we’re just opening the doors. We’re gonna have some food available, and some drinks available, a place to sleep…The place that we’re going to have folks in, a private school that used to be on that side of the building, it’s already built out. We have classrooms, and they’re nice and clean and empty, so we’re gonna have sleeping bags for folks,” he said.

A release issued by the church also noted that restroom facilities and toiletries would be provided for anyone who sought shelter.

Hardy said that the congregation recently moved into new facilities and had been looking for a way to put them to good use.

He added: “It just seems like such a waste to have 20,000-square-feet that we only use a couple of days a week, and for years we wanted a nice building like this, and now we have it, and now we recognize it’s not just for us.”

With recent winter weather conditions causing such extreme low temperatures, Hardy said it became apparent that the church had an obligation to help the community in any way possible.

“It’s one thing in the South, if it gets below 50 [degrees] we get to complaining, but, you know, when it drops to the low teens, it’s pretty dangerous, and so we just want to make sure that folks are not hurt in this crazy winter we’re having,” he noted.

The homeless population of Forsyth County and the surrounding area is not the only group that Highlands Church is making an effort to reach, Hardy said, but simply any individual that is having a hard time battling the cold.

“Maybe it’s folks that fell on hard times and they’re just not able to provide heat to their home. And sometimes it’s, ‘Hey, look, stuff went out in our house,’ and we all understand that. We’re just saying, ‘Look, come on home. Come to Highlands Church. We’ve got plenty of rooms, and we’ve got folks that will treat you good,’” he said.

For Hardy, the goal behind the endeavor is a simple one: “Get some food in them, get them nice and warm, and let them just enjoy a good night’s sleep for once.”

More information can be found by following the link below.

Highlands Church is located at 433 Canton Rd., Building 400, Cumming, GA 30040

Link: Highlands Church website
Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News

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