A church in Cape Breton has opened its doors to keep those in need warm.

Over the weekend, the United Heritage Church in Sydney offered nine men food and shelter in hopes their actions will inspire other places of worship to do the same.

“What I'm hoping is to connect with the municipality or the province or other people, and let them know our church will be open should this happen again,” says Rev. Rosemary Godin.

Eddie LeBlanc has been living on the street and suffering from addiction since he was 14.

“It's depressing. It makes me feel like I want to go back to jail because I have nowhere to go,” says LeBlanc. 

The 30-year-old says the church opening allowed him to have a coffee and escape the cold for a bit.

“It's getting cold out there. Sometimes I feel like crying out there because it's so cold,” says LeBlanc. 

Loaves and Fishes homeless shelter in Sydney was forced to close Sunday due to a staffing shortage. It was also one of the coldest days of the winter.

Rev. Godin plans to open the church again to the homeless whenever she needs to.

Just to know that they're out there and not just that they're out there, but not adequately clothed is disturbing,” she says. “They just have to let us know and we will make arrangements to have the church open.”

The local Salvation Army is doing its part to help, as well. They've handed out more than 100 free winter jackets to those in need this winter.

“Some people come in off the street with only a T-shirt on, so they can now leave with a nice warm coat,” says Salvation Army supervisor Michelle Walker.

Eddie LeBlanc says he’s happy that the community cares.

“They're really nice people down there. They are very helpful and caring. I couldn't ask for anything better,” he says.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.