Lakewood Church in Houston is accepting victims of Hurricane Harvey who want a spot to shelter, the megachurch tweeted this morning, after it acquired backlash for not initially welcoming in evacuees.
Joel Osteen, the church’s famed pastor, tweeted, “Lakewood’s doorways are open and we’re receiving anybody who wants shelter.”
A Lakewood Church spokesperson at this time its doorways have all the time been open and the church is ready for metropolis officers to designate it as a shelter so it will possibly get hold of cots and different help. (The spokesperson stated the church does not have showers or a kitchen.)
5 college buses full of evacuees, toting their belongings in plastic rubbish baggage, have now arrived on the church.
On Sunday, Lakewood Church posted on Fb that it was “inaccessible because of extreme flooding” and directed displaced residents to shelters within the metropolis. The church can maintain greater than 16,000 individuals and has been beforehand energetic in aid efforts, together with sheltering displaced victims throughout Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The Fb publish courted criticism on social media, the place photographs appeared to recommend that the huge constructing, as soon as house to the NBA’s Houston Rockets, had not been broken by the torrential rains.
Lakewood Church despatched photograph us on Monday night that it stated exhibits flooding in and round its advanced.
A church spokesperson informed at this time the power didn’t initially shelter individuals as a result of it could be too harmful to have individuals on a decrease degree, which may flood. Now that the floodwaters have receded, the church determined to herald evacuees, the spokesperson stated.
Osteen insisted in a press release Monday night that he and his church have been “ready to deal with individuals as soon as shelters attain capability.”
“We’ve got by no means closed our doorways. We are going to proceed to be a distribution middle for these in want,” the assertion stated.
It added, “Lakewood will likely be a worth to the neighborhood within the aftermath of this storm in serving to our fellow residents rebuild their lives.”
Harvey, which tore via the Houston space final weekend, has pressured evacuations and worn out properties, and at the very least seven individuals have died. The Nationwide Climate Service deemed the flooding “epic and catastrophic” and Texas Gov. Greg Abbot stated the aftermath of Harvey will possible be “horrific” and depart behind a large number that can “take years” to rebuild.
Get real time update about this post categories directly on your device, subscribe now.