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Joel Osteen offers church as shelter for those escaping Hurricane Ida

by Premier Journalist
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Reuters/ Joel Osteen gives the invocation before Annise Parker is publicly sworn in as mayor in Houston

The famous prosperity preacher Joel Osteen stated that his church would raise funds and offer shelter to those harmed by Hurricane Ida.

In a press release, Osteen stated that his church, Lakewood Church, is organizing a fundraiser to protect and house displaced residents from Hurricane Ida. The church will begin receiving donations on Monday and Tuesday, seeking financial contributions and toiletries. Officials from Lakewood stated that they were already "prepared to safely house as many people as possible" who evacuated from the state through the housing on their site. "Lakewood will work with our partner churches to reach the areas most in need with relief supplies that are collected along with other aid." noted the press release. 

Lakewood has made strides in recent years to offer relief to those in need whenever hurricanes hit the state. The church drew criticism in 2017 when the church was slow to receive evacuees from Hurricane Harvey. The church had initially claimed that their facility was inaccessible due to flooding. However, the church changed its position after several locals tweeted images of the facility unscathed from the hurricane. Since then, the church has been active in providing for locals during natural disasters. When Texas' heating system failed due to an extremely rare winter storm in the southern state, Lakewood Church kept its doors open as a warming center for those who lacked proper heating due to the mechanical issues in the state. 

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