Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter Coming

The National Weather Service is calling for the 1st winter storm of the season to hit the Great Lakes today. While it looks as though the Youngstown area will miss the brunt of the storm, we are expecting rain, 1-2 inches of snow, and high winds.

I cannot help thinking about those who are living out in the elements. There are several “encampments” of homeless people in our area. One group has been staying near the Mahoning River in the downtown area. Another larger encampment has been seen off and on for a few years near the Austintown truck stop area.

Many of these people refuse housing. They have been approached by outreach workers from several agencies concerning shelter, but they prefer to stay where they are. They will utilize the different meal sites within the city, but they refuse shelter until the weather conditions are extreme.

Unfortunately, we cannot help everyone. However, we can help those who are homeless through circumstances over which they have little or no control: economics, family issues; house fires, etc. People will also find themselves homeless often as a secondary result of substance abuse or mental health issues.

As you enjoy the warmth of your house this week, don’t forget those who are without a warm house to enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Its a shame for those who refuse to come in during the cold weather. Efforts to assist those to come in from the cold have been futile but outreach workers will continue to do their best at trying to get these individuals inside. Maybe a blanket drive could be started to at least provide them with some warmth from the inclement weather.