19 December 2009

Thinking of the homeless in winter

As I write this, a major snowstorm is blanketing the east coast. There's already an inch or more on the ground here in the outskirts of Philadelphia, and we're looking at local accumulations of up to 18 inches or more by the time this storm wraps up tomorrow morning.

I don't like snow. Sure, it's pretty, but it's not so practical. I don't like shoveling it, and I don't like driving in it. I don't like the thought of having to spend my day tomorrow digging my car out of a foot and a half of it.

But at least I have a warm home in which to spend this snowy day, and plenty of good food in the kitchen. Unfortunately, some aren't so lucky. I'm talking about the homeless, whose numbers have grown since the start of the foreclosure crisis last year. For them, the snow isn't merely an inconvenience, as it is for me. For them, in these days when the homeless outnumber the available beds in shelters, it can be a matter of life and death.

Why does it have to be this way in the United States of America?

Why are there so many homeless people huddling around steam grates in snowy alleyways today while fat-cat CEOs in this country rake in millions of dollars even as they abuse their power at the expense of the workers and the public at large?

Is a CEO's life really worth so much more than the life of that less fortunate homeless child who today has no shelter or food?

Rhetorical questions all, of course. But necessary ones, really.

1 comment:

  1. ...not necessarily rhetorical. Real questions that deserve real answers. Someone may freeze to death tonight on the streets of Philadelphia and it makes no sense. Thanks for your piece.