Winter Shelter Crisis: Muni’s Missed Opportunity and the Cost of Civic Neglect

Today’s ADN editorial about the Muni non-plan for winter homeless sheltering is alarming.

I am so disappointed in our city’s plans for winter homeless sheltering and the abdication of responsibility with only hope that others will volunteer and donate the support the muni will not provide, reducing their capacity to do other work. At the same time, we keep the nearly always empty hockey rink warm. 

It’s another step backward for our community that only serves to feed the frustration people have for the quality of our community and willingness to move from vicious cycles of decay to virtuous cycles of improvement. For an administration that wanted to support business and the business community, the mayor has forgotten, or perhaps without business experience, never learned that the costs and obligations of a properly functioning civic economy are essential to the quality and profitability of the market economy. Cutting civic program support, such as homeless housing, snow plowing, or school support, comes with a greater expense of private and market opportunity. 

The Sullivan isn’t a good solution, but it’s infinitely warmer and safer than what is being (not)planned. 

I don’t understand why what is being proposed isn’t simply illegal, but I see in the vague standards of the 16.220 shelter plan that there isn’t anything to define the amount or quality of housing.

We shouldn’t measure the success of this non-plan by the number of deaths this winter, but instead, the way we would want one of our family members treated and the access we would like them to a warm place to sleep if they were without a place to stay for a cold night. 

Imagine a town where the mayor sleeps in their bed only after everyone else has been offered a warm bed.


ADN Editorial OUR VIEW – What will a winter without a mass homeless shelter look like? We’re about to find out



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