Press Release: GLMCC Opens its Door to the Homelessadmin
31 January 2019
Green Lane Mosque Opens its Doors to the Homeless
Green Lane Mosque and Community Centre (GLMCC) has launched a Winter Freeze Project to help protect the homeless as temperatures drop. The idea came from the Head of Welfare Services at the centre, Humayun Saleem, who was concerned about the freezing temperatures and the increasing number of homeless people on the streets.
The project launched around two weeks ago and as soon as the Mosque opened its doors on the first night, there were four homeless people coming in from the cold. By the third night, there were twelve who had made their way to the warmth of the Mosque as the rain set in and word spread. The project has been running for 13 days now and the numbers have been consistent.
One regular attendee is a disabled man in a wheel chair. On his first night, he had made his way to the Mosque by bus, accompanied by another homeless friend. The friend said that they were aware of the Mosque being open after volunteers dropped leaflets to the homeless in the city centre on previous nights. They decided to come and check things out after the temperature got so cold that he couldn’t feel his feet.
Kamran Hussain, the recently appointed General Manager at the Mosque commented on how many people and organisations are doing a great job in providing free food but in the winter season, the homeless need to come in from the cold.
“Walking around the city centre at night you see all the homeless huddled in doorways. They sleep on concrete floors in freezing temperatures. Over the last couple of years in Birmingham there have been cases of homeless people freezing to death and we want to help avoid this.”
GLMCC are providing overnight stay in their large community hall, where they also serve food, drinks, snacks and a warm tea to those staying over.
The project is initially open for several weeks after which they will assess the on-going need as well as the community’s response to support this project financially and with their time.
Humayun, who has been the driving force behind the project, mentioned that, “We have had local takeaways and restaurants taking part by providing free food. We had such a good response from our request for food from local restaurants that the volunteers have been able to go back out every evening and distribute food to the rough sleepers. On our first night, we distributed 50 food packs in minutes.
Our service supports everyone regardless of race, creed or background. We do not discriminate. People are in need and it’s our Islamic duty to help.”
GLMCC already runs a Foodbank, which has been established for years. They recently supplemented this with the launch of a Food Kitchen to support the local needy, where they distribute food to the needy in and around the Small Heath area every Saturday evening.
They also run a number of other Welfare Services for the community, including Counselling Services, a financial Charity Support Service, a Knife Bank, Social Coffee Mornings for women, a monthly Elderly Social and Lunch and much more. They are well known in the local Muslim public for their subsidised Islamic Funeral Service, which also serves a much needed requirement.
Qais Khizar, Admin support assistant at the Mosque said, “We have had a call out for volunteers from our congregation and have had a good response with about 20 people coming forward. However, it is difficult to find people who can contribute to stay for a whole night so we are requesting more people to come forward and register their support for the overnight stay from 11pm to 7.30am. You do not need to be available for the whole week or even the whole night; just a few hours can help massively.”
If you can support the winter freeze team, please contact Qais Khizar on 0121 713 0080.
Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre
20 Green Lane
Birmingham, B9 5DB
Tel: 0121 713 0080