The Fires of Winter

I was watching the local news a little while ago* when they aired a report of a homeless man who was badly burned over half his body when his campfire went out of control. The News & Record mentions it here. What really got my dander up, however, is that the reporter and some of the people interviewed for supporting information seemed aghast that the accident happened only a half-mile from Greensboro Urban Ministry and it's homeless shelter. As though the guy actually belonged in a shelter for some reason. As though it was assumed that "well, he's homeless, he should go to a homeless shelter."

Lemme tell ya, folks, when my family and I lost out home earlier this year, the absolute last thing I wanted to do was go to a homeless shelter. We got lucky and linked up with GIHN, but there are others not as fortunate, and who have to go to Urban Ministry's or the Salvation Army's shelter, despite any reservations they may have. I had my reasons for not wanting to go to as shelter; I'm sure this guy had his reasons as well. Even if it was for the sheer pride of it all.

Of course, at the end of the day, it's a damn shame that he has to be homeless in America at all.

*Yes, this is unusual. Although I'm a news junkie, I often don't get to watch it much anymore because I'm either out running errands in the Trusty Steed or Ness has switched the TV to something she wants to watch and subsequently hidden the remote.

Dunno about this, Michael. If there were no other choice between danger and a shelter for a night, then why is the shelter so bad a choice? No, no one can force him to go to a shelter, but the very name, "shelter," doesn't mean a home. It means shelter, nothing more (and nothing less).

Given the very few choices, and of course, he's entitled (as were you) to his choice, is a shelter such a very bad temporary solution to a situation that has, right now, almost no other choice?

Nope, don't force anyone into a shelter. But try to understand that other people see a shelter as a safer place than an open campfire in an unsafe outdoor place.
I agree with you Sue. I work at a homeless shelter and I now if that happens to me I am glad I have that option. I would hate to have to sleep outside on the street. Call me crazy but I would take furnace heat over campfire street heat any day.
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