This past winter was a hard one. Low temperatures and unpredictable weather made for a season which often threatened the health of homeless people throughout the city. This was reflected in the media with regular reports of long waits, full shelters, and desperate situations. Now that we are coming upon the summer the same concerns always seem to dissipate. While the threat of serious health risks, including death, may have changed, the issue of homelessness has not.
In his final speech, Hubert Humphrey is quoted as saying;
“…the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped. “
I have always believed this to be true not only of government, but of the people as well. Ghandi made a similar reference to true greatness being measured by how a society treats its weakest members.
Being concerned about someone should be an always thing, not a some time thing. Yes, we should increase our concern, but we should be vigilant to not allow our caring about others to wane simply because it is not in the front of our mind or in front of our eyes in headlines. Those on the fringes of our society will remain on the fringe if nothing changes. Advocating for opportunity and fairness is as important in the summer as it is in the winter. Unless we act, those who are homeless in July will remain that way in January.