A couple weeks ago, this paper published a story about discussions around establishing a winter shelter. At that time, we had just learned that a church had found it not feasible to host a shelter in their space — it just wouldn’t work, despite their best intentions. Nevertheless, that same church has pushed forward with other ways to help our community (just look at the piles of wood they’ve been trucking to people in need of winter heating).
For space and clarity, that same story also left out mention of churches and institutions who did not attend the same meeting. This was not, however, to indicate that no other churches showed interest, compassion or have been offering services within their means. The story was narrow and just showed what was “before the camera,” as it were. In fact, several of the churches invited to the table by the advisory group have expressed interest in feeding folks, warming people during the day and exploring other forms of support beyond a foam mat and a roof for 12 hours a night.
Turns out, some commenters read these actions or omissions and interpreted them with outrage as to why these organizations would not help.
Dear readers, please note that omissions in that story did not indicate rejections by parties like these churches that were invited to a table. Stories sometimes get cut with razor blades. (At least, they did in the old days. Now it’s more “highlight and delete” because press time is 20 minutes away and it won’t fit on the page without some big overhauls).
Compassionate organizations, businesses, people and churches alike, have stepped up in other ways, quietly, without always getting photo ops, but deserving big thanks.
Taking on a shelter is, as understood at the advisory group table, a massive undertaking. No matter how much organization A, B, or C may have the heart to take it on, readers and fellow community members can still appreciate the size of the ask being put on them.
To make things clear for interpreters of absence and omission with regards to organizations pitching in to help those who need it: just because it’s not in ink doesn’t mean that the support doesn’t exist. There is plenty of good work being done to best of people’s capacities in our community. To find out more, why not reach out directly to an organization, ask, and if you can, maybe offer your hands, head and heart?