“Baby, it’s cold outside!” And it’s going to get colder – and colder – and the snow that began falling earlier today is still falling and apparently is going to continue throughout the night.

When it began, it was just frost – making lovely patterns on the wooden fence on the back deck. Then the tiny snowflakes began to fall – creating a winter wonderland. And then the fat, wet snow filled the sky and quickly covered everything in sight.

It’s cold outside. Gratefully, I am warm, inside this little home. But so many in this community are not.

My heart doesn’t understand … why our local community centre can’t be opened so that warm shelter can be provided for those on the street.

My mind understands … that “it’s complicated” because of issues of who’s going to pay for it; who is going to staff/volunteer the facility; sanitation; meals and more. And then there’s the concern about COVID (people are still in hospital, fighting for their lives), the flu and the respiratory virus that’s affecting many children (and lately, seniors), as well as questions, raise their controversial head: … will those who will use the facility be fully vaccinated? … will those who staff/volunteer be fully vaccinated? … will everyone wear a mask? … what if violence erupts – will there be police/RCMP present? … will medical staff be present? … what about insurance issues? … what about overall security/safety concerns? … and, who organizes such a plan – municipality? province? federal government?

Some are posting on social media that “churches should open their doors.” They would love to, but If they do, the same questions above need to be answered.

But there are no easy answers. The homeless this night will sleep curled up on a sidewalk, in a doorway, huddled under a tree, as the snow falls and the wind howls. And some won’t wake up in the morning.

No answers. Just deep pain in my heart, my soul, my mind. 

© June Maffin