Reporters! Ask the Question! (Updated Twice)

Posted December 30th, 2013 @ 6:28 AM by

Sigh . . . lovely stories about no one being turned away from shelter . . . but no mention of the following:

TUESDAY
Library Closed (50 – 60 people experiencing homelessness per day use the services there)
Bethel Church closes at noon (about 100 people experiencing homelessness per day use the services there)
City-County Building Closed (can’t find a place to confirm that, but I’m pretty sure)
Many businesses closed.
Many service agencies for people experiencing homelessness closed.
Buses running light schedules – harder to get places that might be warm (if you have a ticket)
Temperatures of 1 to degree, 3 – 6 inches of snow

Where will people go to be safe? To keep warm? Shelters kick you at at 7 or 8 in the morning, don’t reopen til 5:00.

(Yes, Bubbles will be open for inquiring minds)

WEDNESDAY
Library Closed (50 – 60 people experiencing homelessness per day use the services there)
Bethel Church closed (about 100 people experiencing homelessness per day use the services there)
City-County Building Closed
Many businesses closed
Most service agencies for people experiencing homelessness closed.
Buses running light schedules – harder to get places that might be warm (if you have a ticket)
Temperatures 3 – 15 degrees, 3 – 6 inches of snow

Where will people to go be safe during the day? To keep warm? Where?

SUNDAY
Library not open til 1:00
Bethel closed
City-County Building Closed
Most service agencies for people experiencing homelessness closed.
Buses running light schedule – hard to get places that might be warm (if you have a ticket)
Temperatures -4 to 20 degrees, more snow

Where is the plan? Who’s looking at this issue and solving this problem? Why do we always scramble at the last minute to find a way to solve these problems? Why do we wait until the last minute to have a plan? Will there be a plan? This isn’t rocket science, this is Wisconsin, it gets cold and we have holidays. The winter plan for a warming center for people experiencing homelessness has serious flaws (Sunday the most glaring, Saturday problematic as well.)

Someone please ask the elected officials and staff in charge of funding and running these programs some hard questions. Don’t accept everything is fine here – we just need housing. We need housing, we need affordable housing, and we might get 50 more units in 2015 . . . but that is the long term (inadequate) plan and won’t help the 400 – 500 chronically homeless people here in Madison. The long term plan isn’t complete and it may be another year before we see it. What is the short term plan? Just let people freeze? Lose their toes? Get sick? Die? In this weather frostbite can occur in 30 minutes. What happens in 8 – 10 hours? Nothing to see here, and besides, those people who are homeless and not going to shelter, well, there is something wrong with them or they “refused services” (eyeroll) so they deserve it, right? They can freeze.

Seriously, I brought this up 10 days ago, what is wrong with our community that we can’t solve these basic issues we face every year? Why can’t we treat our fellow human beings with dignity and respect – and provide them a little heat in this freezing cold weather? Please don’t make us do something crazy to solve this problem . . . since you know, the government won’t. Lets not add more names to this list for the coldest day of the year next year!

***********************************************
UPDATE:
Reporters, you might also want to ask about this situation from facebook:

Chaous wrote: “We checked on the woman through out the night. She will not go into the shelter and it takes awhile for her to talk to you. She really just wants to be left alone. I give her survival gear and check on her. Thats the most we can do. She has some serious fears about the shelters so please dont push her on those…. The other men that were out.. we checked on them through out the night also. Thier reasons for not going in were also valid for them. Again we gave them survival gear and made sure they could make it through the night. The hard core ones… the ones who will in no way whats so ever will go into a shelter have been doing this for a long time. They are prepared for the weather as best as they are able to be. They rarely ask for anything but always appreciate everything we do for them. If we did not have issues with the current system they to would seek shelter. As the system stands, they would rather brave the elements then lose what dignity they have.”

Seriously, people think sleeping outside in -20 weather is preferable to shelter. Please ask why? How can we fix this?

************************************************
SECOND UPDATE:
Tomorrow 8 – 3:30 1st United Methodist Church will be open. They are working on New Years Day as well, but not yet confirmed! Thank you First United Methodist Church and Karen Andro. Also thanks to Mark and Connor from Bethel who will be stopping by to assist as well. Much love! Sorry there is always this last minute scramble instead of a solid plan, but so grateful you are there to fill in the gaps!!!


Categories: | Madison | Media | Wisconsin

Forward Lookout's Comment Policy - use a real e-mail, if not an actual name. We don't share your e-mail with anyone.
blog comments powered by Disqus