PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) - One local church is inviting homeless people inside to escape the cold during record low temperatures.
The Martin Luther King Church on the lower east side of Pueblo welcomed people inside to hangout, watch some television, and eat a warm meal Sunday. It plans to do the same Monday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
"Anyone of us can be homeless at any time," explained Pastor Paul Montoya. "So I have a heart for them, they respect me, I respect them, I don't interfere with how they live."
Pastor Paul Montoya spent some time locked up and says it opened his mind, and his heart.
He empathizes with homeless people in Pueblo, saying it takes thousands of dollars to get back on your feet, and many people don't have a way to make that money.
He knew he needed to help during the record cold, so he prayed to God, asking what he should do.
"The spirit said help those that can't help themselves right now, get them out of this cold," Pastor Paul told KRDO.
"He's not afraid to lend a helping hand to a stranger," said Ben, one of the men eating inside. "I mean it shows a lot about his character."
Of course Pastor Paul says he couldn't do it all alone.
Since COVID, he and other community members have been walking around town, handing out sandwiches and snacks to people in need.
But with extreme weather on the way, they took it a step further and got permission from the city to allow people inside. They even whipped up some special meals for the occasion.
"A lot of people stepped up and made hot meals - burritos, hot soup, vegetable soup, chicken soup," Pastor Paul said.
People able to take advantage of the gesture say it makes them optimistic about life.
"Gain some type of comfort knowing that there are people out there that will help you. So there is hope for the future," Ben said.
"I just thank God that he has blessed me enough to help me bless others," Pastor Paul said.