On recent days in our Rants and Raves column, the issue of “street people” has been batted around relative to the very cold weather we have experienced.
The question was put, why don’t we have any shelters when these events occur?
In the past we have had shelters available. Perhaps because of previous consistent mild weather, the need for such shelters was not as crucial and maybe there was a false sense of security that those kinds of day would be the trend.
In the past week, several of us encountered some of these people who needed a warm meal and a warm bed.
The question also was put, how many homeless people do we have?
And another ranter pointed out that many of these homeless are drug addicts.
We don’t really have a fix on how many homeless we have in our community. And yes, it is confirmed that some “street people” are drug addicts.
So several issues were tossed about.
Let’s suppose that some of these street people are addicts. Does that reduce the need to help them survive frigid weather?
One ranter suggested that compassion toward the homeless could end in a lawsuit. And a rebuttal by another contributor noted he had never known of a bowl of warm soup or a ride to a homeless shelter resulting in a lawsuit.
Yet another contributor asked where are our churches in these instances of need. While another pointed out that our community has ample facilities that could provide basic shelter on a cold night.
So all of these concerns and ideas have been put out there by observers.
The question now becomes, as a community that so many times shows its caring hearts, how do we respond?