Church to Open Daytime Shelter for the Homeless

Reykjavik from above

According to a press release published today, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland (the national church of Iceland) plans on opening a daytime shelter for the homeless in Reykjavík in 2020. Bishop Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir established a committee to investigate the possibility last year.

The committee subsequently submitted proposals to the Bishop along with a cost estimate, advising that the daytime shelter should initially be open only to homeless women. The shelter, which is expected to be open year-round from 11 am to 5 pm, will offer hot meals at noon and refreshments in the afternoon. The Church Council reviewed the proposal and approved of the project on December 11. The Council has earmarked funds for the shelter in the 2020 budget.

In a conversation with Iceland Review today, deacon and committee member Ragnheiður Sverrisdóttir confirmed that the project was in preparation, but shied away from speculating on when exactly the daytime shelter would open: “In my experience, if you announce that you’ll open in April, you’ll open in August.”

Along with Ragnheiður Sverrisdóttir, reverends Hjalti Jón Sverrisson and Vilborg Oddsdóttir, and a social worker from Icelandic Church Aid, also comprise the committee. Reverend Hreinn S. Hákonarson, a former prison chaplain, serves as an advisor to the committee.