Sunday, 12 July 2015

We had snow yesterday.

It was a mere dusting of snow in the hills behind our house. I couldn't even see it from where I was standing but people still got excited about it. Snow doesn't often happen here.
It made the evening news. There was a small snowman sitting bravely on a plinth outside the shopping area in the hills. He would not have lasted long. 
There may be more snow this week because the weather is forecast for such events. There is an icy blast coming up from the Antarctic. China is experiencing a typhoon of massive proportions. It makes me wonder about global warming and those extreme weather events that are apparently part of it.
It also makes me wonder about other things. The homeless sleeping rough concern me at any time but how do they manage this weather?
I was talking about this to someone else when we met in the library. She had been trying to get her children to think about it but even she said, "You'd think they would try and find somewhere to live or go to a shelter or something."
No. Some of them won't. They are mentally ill. They don't want to be indoors. However bad the weather is they are frightened of "inside". They might shelter under a bridge or in a shelter they have made for themselves but they won't shelter in a building made by someone else. 
I don't like enclosed spaces. I will use lifts but I dislike them. I loathe going into the underground car park in our local shopping centre. The roof is low for such a building. The place is dark. When it was being built there were problems with flooding. It is probably perfectly safe now but I just don't like it. It isn't the same thing as not being prepared to go into a building at all. I hope I have a glimmer of understanding about how some people must feel. In all likelihood though I haven't.
The Senior Cat will prowl off to church this morning. Before he leaves I will give him the weekly food contribution collected to distribute to those in need. That food will go to people who are, in some fashion, housed.
During the week I will pass over some more to the local charity which has a van which heads out into the evenings to feed the homeless. There has been a request for tins of soup or the sort of soup that comes in packets and only needs boiling water added to it.
They will hand it out in throwaway cups. There will be bread to go with it, bread left over from the local bakery and the occasional contributions from other people. 
I know people who shrug and say, "It's a waste. They just spend what money they get on alcohol and cigarettes or drugs. They aren't going to make anything of their lives."
No, some of them won't but there are exceptions. I know of one man who now volunteers his time at the local charity. He has his problems but someone there helps him take his medication each day - at his request. He's functioning reasonably well. At his request I helped him fill out a form recently. He's applying for housing instead of the hostel he's been living in since coming off the streets.
"Don't want nothing fancy," he told me, "Just a room to sleep in and a bathroom place."
I asked if he wanted a little kitchen. He thought about it for a moment and then said, "Nah, just one of them microwave things. You can do soup in that. Soup's the best when it's cold like."
I don't know how he'll go but he's trying. Soup helps.

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