Help required by Out of the Cold

Passing the poverty buck.

That’s what I watched happening in recent weeks at Kitchener council as councillors reluctantly approved my motion to do what we can to support our Out of the Cold program which does such admirable work in late fall and winter.

We should not forget that disadvantaged street people who enjoy the shelter and food provided by volunteers and various churches throughout Kitchener-Waterloo are among those who cause so much angst in our downtown.

We certainly care about them when we think they are creating a bad reputation for the downtown or when they appear to be scaring shoppers away from the core but, when it comes to positive actions in support of groups like Out of the Cold, I start to wonder.

My motion didn’t ask for much. It requested that city staff reach out and work with regional social-service officials to help Out of the Cold find a Tuesday-night location for its shelter after Ray of Hope announced it will no longer be able to continue to provide such services for the homeless.

A majority of councillors supported that motion but several wrung their hands and bleated that such troublesome social issues should be left in the hands of provincial and regional governments.

To which I would say we all have a responsibility to do what we can to combat issues of poverty and problems of homelessness because such issues never have  jurisdictional boundaries.

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