Rockford church opens overnight cafe for homeless residents

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A local church is opening its doors to people in need of a place to stay this winter season.

The Rockford Overnight Cafe at Second First Church, located at 318 N Church Street, will officially open at 8:00 p.m. Monday night. The program provides a warm place to sleep for homeless and mentally ill individuals.

Organizers say the Rockford community has ramped up efforts to keep the vulnerable population safe amid the pandemic, but there are still a few people who don’t qualify for other overnight assistance programs.

“There are still some folks who are mentally ill, or are on the sex offenders list, or there’s just something going on and they are not able to take advantage of any of those programs and we want to keep them safe. We dont want them to get injured in the cold,” said Pastor Rebecca White Newgren.

Partial funding for the overnight care comes from a community foundation grant, but Second First Church is seeking additional donations to keep the shelter open through March 1st.

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