SHELTER

Joel Osteen’s Houston Megachurch Opens Its Doors After Criticism

Joel Osteen, a celebrity televangelist who came under fire this weekend over claims his Lakewood Church shut out Houston’s flood victims, announced Tuesday that the church would be “receiving anyone who needs shelter.” Osteen hit back against accusations that his 606,000-square-foot megachurch kept its doors locked to thousands of evacuees, writing on Twitter that he and his wife, Victoria, “care deeply about our fellow Houstonians.” Lakewood Church spokesman Don Iloff said the church wasn’t opened sooner because parts of the building were flooded. “We were never closed,” Iloff told The Washington Post. “This is crazy. People are saying we’ve locked the church. The church has been open from the beginning, but it’s not designated as a shelter.” Evacuees were seen arriving at the church on Tuesday afternoon, when the church was officially designated as a shelter. Volunteers were also on site organizing aid supplies for evacuees in other locations.