Needless Deaths

It’s a balmy 50 degrees here in San Jose today. Tonight it will be 33. Quite chilly for this part of the world and as every gardening enthusiast in our area rushes outside to cover up his or her plants so they survive until Wednesday next week, bare a thought or two for those of us out there who have nothing or no one to cover them up.

Last night 4 people died here in Santa Clara county. 4 homeless people. Needless deaths indeed when you consider that the nearest shelter was half empty. Tonight all the local homeless shelters are putting on extra beds, which under the circumstances is quite admirable. It leaves the unanswered question though of why 4 had to die without being offered the chance to sleep indoors in a warm bed? Having spent a week being homeless, I can understand the reluctance of some, the minority, who choose to sleep rough and who will sit stubbornly at the side of the road or under their favorite bridge clinging to everything they possess and believing that nothing worse could possibly happen to them. On the other hand how can we, yes, you and I, as todays so-called ‘caring society’ not be out there rounding these people up and placing them in a safer environment especially suited to seeing them through the climactic conditions in which we find ourselves tonight? It beggars belief that here I am, sitting in a home with unlimited central heating, 6 incredibly warm empty rooms, and yet there are many, some 7000 plus in this county alone, who have nothing but plastic sheeting, a supermarket trolley and perhaps a coat, and not even a warm one at that, braving temperatures that are normally found in places far North of California.

If you go out tonight, even if you don’t live where I live and are based in other parts of the planet, give some thought to those who might need just a wee bit of guidance. Help someone. Help them get to where their souls might be warmed and their bellies filled. We live in strange times. People line up for iPhones and Play Stations, sometimes in the cold, and yet others….. Well, you get my point. We have so much in the way of resources, but yet we give so little.

I hope no one else meets their demise this evening, and I hope you are all at home feeling nice and warm and lucky that you are not one of those who have to endure several more nights of this weather without anything other than a prayer and an empty heart.



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