The temperatures are dropping now as we draw closer to winter and many homeless are seeking shelter to escape the rough weather. Washington DC has not seen much cold weather yet but just a little bit more to the North in Ohio they are feeling the season change in a big way.
The Columbus Dispatch's article on how full the shelters are already getting in Ohio when it's only the beginning of November is an amazing article that does well giving background information and really giving a voice to the homeless and their struggles.
The lead in this article really draws the reader in with stating how all 514 beds were taken in a homeless shelter when it was only 39 degrees in Ohio. It gets a person thinking and evokes empathy for all those living on the streets in central Ohio.
"Nicole Moberly crawled into bed No. 12 at Nancy’s Place. Nearly nine months pregnant and living in a homeless shelter, the fast-food worker considers herself one of the lucky ones.
“I see others sleeping outside,” the 24-year-old said. “There’s not enough room for everyone.”
The use of the pregnant woman shows just how human homeless people are. I think sometimes society sees them as a burden and forgets that they are struggling and this quote shows just how normal and hurting the homeless are especially as it gets colder.
One problem I have with this article is a very vague sentence just kind of stuck in the middle of the article that has no transition, and no explanation as to what it means or who is saying it.
"Advocates for the poor have long known that recessions save some of their worst blows for last."
According to this statement this winter will be the hardest for homeless or at least that's what it says. Who are these advocates and why does the next paragraph not go on to explain this a little more? That's a question left unanswered by this article.
The problem with full shelters in Ohio is not a new one. When the temperatures fall below 25 degrees the homeless can't be turned away which is described in the article. This article has been written many times in the Columbus Dispatch over the past few years. An article published in January 2009 focused on how the economy was affecting people causing more to be homeless. A similar article was published by the Columbus Dispatch in January 2008 describing the trouble with shelters. This makes people wonder why something isn't being done, but Sunday's article describes this well.
The article does a great job going into the problem facing Columbus, Ohio and not solely the result of the problem being full homeless shelters. It describes how Ohio has focused on getting the homeless more permanent shelter and that's why no new beds have been put in homeless shelters in the last few years. The housing plan is not described very well however. A key detail that I feel is missing is the statistics of how many people are being housed with the program.
I think everyone needs reminders of how lucky they are and how much they need to help the less fortunate. Well crafted articles such as the one by the Columbus Dispatch bring this home.