“No place for them” is a phrase that rings loudly from Luke 2:7 on Christmas morning.
Or, in our case, dings loudly from our cell phones at 8:11am on Christmas morning.
It read: “
I am Nathan Forbes with American Red Cross. Large fire at Drake Hotel
with up to 250 people possibly needing shelter. Could Bethlehem be available for temporary evacuation point this morning?”
CNN reports, “More than 200 people were evacuated from a low-income residential hotel after a fire broke out early Christmas morning and quickly grew to four alarms.”
The Drake Hotel is a homeless shelter located just blocks from Bethlehem’s Downtown Campus
. The men, women, and children that live at the Drake Hotel are our neighbors. Our
neighbors. And now many of them have lost everything.
A few years ago, under the leadership of Scott Brueske, our Properties Administrator, Bethlehem signed up as an emergency relief location with the American Red Cross for precisely this kind of need—and today God has given us the grace to respond.
Again under the leadership of Scott Brueske and Seth Todd (Coordinator for Facilities, Downtown), Bethlehem is opening its Downtown Campus Main Hall for today as a processing center for the American Red Cross. There, our neighbors will be welcomed in from the cold and helped to find shelter for the coming months.
According to the Red Cross, no volunteers are needed from Bethlehem at this time, but please be in prayer for each of these precious neighbors who have lost so much today. And praise be to God that Bethlehem can be a welcoming place for those who have no place.