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Elkhart non-profit turns to public to help get heat back on

By Ed Ernstes
Published On: Dec 17 2013 04:50:58 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 17 2013 04:51:43 PM CST

An Elkhart non-profit group that ministers to the homeless and families in need now has no heat inside its offices. WSBT's Ed Ernstes has the story.

ELKHART -

An Elkhart non-profit group has canceled several of its indoor programs because there's no heat in its building.

Guidance Ministries' boiler went out, and it's cold inside its headquarters.

The group is now asking for help from the community to get the heat back on.

It couldn't happen at a worse time for the charitable agency that provides services for the homeless and families in need. 

Space heaters and winter coats are now needed inside the building.

"Worse case scenario there is, I thought, and it's hard, because you want everybody to be comfortable," said Pastor Frank King. "We are going on, cold or not, and we are going to serve people."

Guidance Ministries is continuing its Christmas assistance program, but because of the lack of heat has stopped serving meals in God's Kitchen and canceled its food pantry and clothing ministry.

Efforts are underway to get new boiler parts.

"We don't even know what it's going to cost to have it put in, shipped and everything else," King noted. "We're not for profit, and we don't have beaucoup bucks in the bank, you know. We live on a shoestring."

As it stands right now, they have ordered the boiler replacement equipment from a firm in Canada, but again, they don't have the money to actually buy it nor to have it installed and are hoping the community can turn out to lend a hand.

"We need every bit of help we can get," King pleaded.

Right now, many people are depending on the Christmas assistance program there, like David Densmore, who has six kids and a wife with cancer.

"With everything going on in my life right now, I don't have any money and no money to help provide for my family for Christmas or give them anything," Densmore said.

"It's the one church I can come to and depend on, especially around Christmastime," added Leiora Davis, a single mother of five children.

Adding to their headaches, the new boiler equipment is not expected to be in for several more days yet, so they will have to put up with the cold inside a little bit longer.