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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Health, Housing, and Public Services

Community Should Get Behind Creation of Warming Stations
by Steve Pleich
Thursday Dec 12th, 2013 12:08 PM
A Modest Proposal
Thanks in no small part to a recent post by Facebook page poster Kathy McCrae and made ever more urgent by the recent frigid weather, the community is mobilizing around the creation of “warming stations”. Such warming centers for the homeless in Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz County could open during the overnight hours when temperatures drop drastically. Many have suggested that the Kaiser Permanente Arena and the newly renovated and reopened Vets Hall would be ideal locations for these centers. This is more than a “modest proposal" . This is a challenge to our humanity and compassion at a time when these qualities of mercy seem to be not only strained but in short supply.

Not so long ago, I passed by Messiah Lutheran Church located on the corner of Spring and High Streets and noticed that a large manger scene had been set up on their front lawn. I wondered what would happen is one or two of our unsheltered neighbors were to pause within that crèche to warm themselves on one of the many freezing nights ahead. Would they too, be told “there was no room at the inn” and asked to move along? Sadly, this is not only ironic in view of charitable nature of the season, in a larger sense it is a metaphor that reflects the community view of our unsheltered. At this time of year generosity and good will should guide our thoughts and actions. The creation of several warming centers is a modest proposal. But it is also a practical and humanitarian one and should be supported by all persons of good will in our community.