[Hpn] Homeless problem is a disgrace

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Tue, 22 Jan 2008 04:32:25 -0500


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Tue, January 22, 2008=20

Homeless problem is a disgrace=20
http://www.edmontonsun.com/Comment/Commentary/2008/01/22/4786198.html
By ANDREW HANON

        =20
January is the cruellest month in Edmonton, especially if you're =
homeless.=20

The typically bitter weather is made even colder with the knowledge that =
with Christmas behind us, there are still three months of winter before =
warmer temperatures, better driving conditions and any kind of foliage =
to break the visual monotony.=20

But as much as we lament the long, painfully frigid walk from the =
parking lot to the front door at work as unbearable hardship, let's face =
it: most of us have it easy.=20

At least we have homes to while away the winter in warmth and safety. =
And even if we're out there, bundled up in umpteen layers but still =
shivering against a wind that feels like a million shards of glass =
against any exposed skin, we can always take comfort in the knowledge =
that whenever we've had enough, we can head back inside.=20

But for thousands of people, there is no real sanctuary from the cold. =
They might live in tents in some secluded patch of trees within the city =
limits. They could be spending every night in a cardboard box over a =
warm grate. Maybe they're risking their lives by finding shelter deep =
inside the paper piled in a recycling dumpster.=20


       =20

When the frozen body of a man was found on the north side over the =
weekend, everyone assumed he was homeless. It turned out not to be the =
case (although equally tragic), but the sad reality is it's only a =
matter of time before a homeless person dies in the cold.=20

Some people will argue that homelessness is a choice and that a lot of =
people living on the streets won't go to a shelter even if they could.=20

No doubt there are a handful who fit into that category, but the vast =
majority are desperate, struggling with addiction and mental health =
problems.=20

And in our booming economy, there is a new breed of homeless - those who =
have jobs but still can't afford Edmonton's sky-high rents.=20

The official number of homeless in the city is 2,600 but even the people =
who came up with that figure say it's probably much higher. The number =
of emergency shelter beds available to them is 800 - one third.=20

With the financial resources available in Alberta, that kind of =
shortfall in help for society's most vulnerable is not just an =
embarrassment.=20

It's a deadly disgrace.=20










William Charles Tinker, Sr.
New Hampshire Homeless=20
Founded 11-28-99
25 Granite Street=20
Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640 USA=20
Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human rights.=20
1-603-286-2492=20
http://www.missingkids.com=20
http://www.nationalhomeless.org=20
http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org=20
http://www.newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com 
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<DIV align=3Dright><B>Tue, January 22, 2008 </B><BR></DIV>
<H5 class=3DsIFR-replaced></EMBED><SPAN class=3DsIFR-alternate>Homeless =
problem is a=20
disgrace </SPAN></H5>
<H5 class=3DsIFR-replaced><SPAN class=3DsIFR-alternate><A=20
href=3D"http://www.edmontonsun.com/Comment/Commentary/2008/01/22/4786198.=
html">http://www.edmontonsun.com/Comment/Commentary/2008/01/22/4786198.ht=
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<P>January is the cruellest month in Edmonton, especially if you're =
homeless.=20
<P>The typically bitter weather is made even colder with the knowledge =
that with=20
Christmas behind us, there are still three months of winter before =
warmer=20
temperatures, better driving conditions and any kind of foliage to break =
the=20
visual monotony.=20
<P>But as much as we lament the long, painfully frigid walk from the =
parking lot=20
to the front door at work as unbearable hardship, let's face it: most of =
us have=20
it easy.=20
<P>At least we have homes to while away the winter in warmth and safety. =
And=20
even if we're out there, bundled up in umpteen layers but still =
shivering=20
against a wind that feels like a million shards of glass against any =
exposed=20
skin, we can always take comfort in the knowledge that whenever we've =
had=20
enough, we can head back inside.=20
<P>But for thousands of people, there is no real sanctuary from the =
cold. They=20
might live in tents in some secluded patch of trees within the city =
limits. They=20
could be spending every night in a cardboard box over a warm grate. =
Maybe=20
they're risking their lives by finding shelter deep inside the paper =
piled in a=20
recycling dumpster. <BR clear=3Dright><BR clear=3Dright><BR =
clear=3Dright>
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<P>When the frozen body of a man was found on the north side over the =
weekend,=20
everyone assumed he was homeless. It turned out not to be the case =
(although=20
equally tragic), but the sad reality is it's only a matter of time =
before a=20
homeless person dies in the cold.=20
<P>Some people will argue that homelessness is a choice and that a lot =
of people=20
living on the streets won't go to a shelter even if they could.=20
<P>No doubt there are a handful who fit into that category, but the vast =

majority are desperate, struggling with addiction and mental health =
problems.=20
<P>And in our booming economy, there is a new breed of homeless - those =
who have=20
jobs but still can't afford Edmonton's sky-high rents.=20
<P>The official number of homeless in the city is 2,600 but even the =
people who=20
came up with that figure say it's probably much higher. The number of =
emergency=20
shelter beds available to them is 800 - one third.=20
<P>With the financial resources available in Alberta, that kind of =
shortfall in=20
help for society's most vulnerable is not just an embarrassment.=20
<P>It's a deadly disgrace. </P>
<P>&nbsp;</P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT></DIV>
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<DIV><!-- got a news tip --><!-- got a news tip --><!-- Next and =
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<P><BR clear=3Dall></P></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2><BR>William Charles Tinker, Sr.<BR>New =
Hampshire=20
Homeless <BR>Founded 11-28-99<BR>25 Granite Street <BR>Northfield,N.H.=20
03276-1640 USA <BR>Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human =
rights.=20
<BR>1-603-286-2492 <BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.missingkids.com">http://www.missingkids.com</A> =
<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.nationalhomeless.org">http://www.nationalhomeless.org<=
/A>=20
<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org">http://www.newhampshirehomel=
ess.org</A>=20
<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com">http://www.=
newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com</A>=20
</FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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