• Birmingham, AL - The bitter cold is an opportunity to not only offer warmth to people but also to offer a ministry as well.    

         As overnight temperatures in Birmingham continue dropping into the teens and even the single digits later this week, the health of the homeless increasingly becomes an issue.

         The Jimmie Hale Mission says it will not turn anyone away in the cold.  On a normal night, the mission uses 120 of their 160 beds.  Right now, they say every bed has been occupied so far this week and another 40 mats are being used each evening.  The executive director says he will find a place for every person. He sees it as an opportunity to reach out to more people.

                                                  Men sleeping on mats in the Men's Center dormitory

         "When it gets cold it drives people inside.  For us, that's a good thing because that's the reason we're here," said Executive Director Tony Cooper.  "To help people get off the street, to work with them and help them get off the road of homelessness."

    Visit http://www.abc3340.com/news/stories/0110/693511.html for original story and video.

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    by Yenu Wodajo of ABC 33/40 
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