PITTSBURG — Pitt Chapel is using its “unusual” church to minister to the community, and help those in need.

Pitt Chapel Pastor Mark Smithson recently returned from Cleveland, Tennessee with 50 coats and around 100 blankets. The church began giving out the coats and blankets to those who need them Thursday, and will continue to dispense them each Thursday.

“We’re open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday and that’s when we will do the giveaways,” Smithson said. “We know there is a growing homeless population, and we want to help when we can.”

Aside from the blankets and coats, Pitt Chapel has focused part of its ministry toward the homeless population. The chapel is open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and offers a service on 7:13 p.m. on Saturdays.

However, Pitt Chapel doesn’t look like a typical church. The inside includes a stage, couches, tables and a pool table, as well as offering free WiFi.

“We call ourselves ‘church unusual’ because we aren’t what folks typically think of,” Smithson said. “And everyone is welcome no matter their background, where they are from or any of that.”

Through that model, the chapel began opening to give people in the community — along with the homeless population — a place to get in out of the weather and enjoy themselves.

Smithson picked up the blankets from the headquarters of Operation Compassion, with which Pitt Chapel works. Operation Compassion offers a blanket mission for such situations, and according to Smithson, the blankets are biodegradable to help preserve the environment.

Pitt Chapel will hand out blankets until they are gone, but is taking ongoing donations of coats from the community to keep offering the service.

Pitt Chapel is located at 108 W. 3rd Street and can also be found at Pitt Chapel on Facebook.

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.