Friday, January 12, 2007

every once in a while...

...I hear something that suspends my cynicism for a bit. The Bay Area is getting hit with unusually cold temperatures, low 20s and down into the teens, even colder in some inland valleys and higher spots. For you folks with "real" weather, that may not sound like a big deal, and you may be tempted to scoff at the "soft" Californians, but for an area with usually moderate temperatures and a disproportionately high number of homeless men, women, and children, freezing temperatures can be very serious, even deadly. It's one thing to go through a Midwestern winter safe and snug in your home...imagine trying to keep going when you have no address, no shoes, no coat, no warm bed, no door to close to keep the freezing wind out.

That cynicism suspension? Cities around the Bay Area and the state are making provisions for the cold, opening National Guard Armories for the homeless, setting up "warming shelters" around the cities, providing blankets and coats. People are pulling together to distribute warmer clothing, random people are giving blankets to people who need them, businesses are organizing coat drives.

I like the fact that so many people, including municipal governments, are coming together to help an "invisible" population, a group of people that are usually ignored, passed by, passed over. That when it really counts and is really needed, all of that is put aside and people take care of each other. We see it a surprising amount for these bitter and tired times...individuals caring for individuals, ignoring labels, borders, generalizations during a moment of crisis.

I wish it didn't take such extremes to get us there...

...but at least we get there.

2 comments:

Booalready said...

I like your point of view here. At least we do get there.

It is great that they are coming to the aid of the invisible population.

I guess it takes these extremes sometimes like a squeaky wheel getting the grease. It's a shame it has to come to that, you are right.

stacey said...

Thanks, Boo...here's hoping that things don't have to squeak so much in the future .