Jewish community supports homeless shelter at Al Rashid Mosque

Jewish community supports homeless shelter at Al Rashid Mosque

Edmonton’s Jewish community has donated food and water to the Al-Rashid Mosque to support the homeless being housed at the mosque during the severe cold weather.

“Thank you to @Alrashid_YEG for opening its mosque to the homeless during this severe cold snap. To help with this, #JewishEdmonton donated food and water to the mosque, which has extended the overnight space until this Sunday. Please consider donating to the cause,” said the Jewish Federation of Edmonton in a social media post.

“This is how our community comes together! Thank you to the Jewish Federation of Edmonton for their contribution towards helping us serve our most vulnerable neighbours,” responded Al Rashid Mosque.

Alberta’s leader of the New Democratic Party, Rachel Notley commended the mosque for their efforts.

“For as long as I can remember, Edmonton’s Al-Rashid Mosque has opened its doors during the city’s coldest winter nights,” Notley said. “This is a massive effort, done by volunteers out of the goodness of their heart.”

Al Rashid Mosque opened its doors when the city activated its extreme weather response last month. The shelter was supposed to end its services December 31, but extended it to January.

Because of the cold weather, the mosque said it would ensure its shelter was open.

“We have a lot of guests here with their feet full of frostbite, they can’t move their hands, they can’t even feel their hands, they’re in crucial pain and they have nowhere to go,” said Noor Al-Henedy, Al Rashid's director of communications.

“We felt it was very important to keep this space open, we do not want anyone to be sleeping outside when it’s minus 30 or minus 40.”

Al Rashid started as the first Mosque in Canada (in 1938) and has grown into one of the leading charitable Muslim organizations in the country, with an array of development initiatives in the Edmonton Muslim community.

This gracious act from Al Rashid Mosque falls in line with a similar pattern adopted by several mosques and Islamic centers, catering to the needs of the homeless.