Maybe officials should hold their meeting outdoors, at night
On Dec. 9, the Zoning Board turned down the application of the Code Blue Shelter in Gloversville, also known as the Center of Hope. It has been a brutal, heartbreaking, and depressing battle to get the shelter to open this year. One of their reasonings is that it might deter businesses from opening up in Gloversville.
What it really means is that they care more about the opportunity of “future businesses,” than their own citizens who are dying on the sidewalks freezing at night. If I was going to open a new business, their decision to turn down the Code Blue shelter would discourage me from opening in Gloversville. I wouldn’t want to associate myself with city officials who lack compassion, empathy, and kindness.
Perhaps during the next meeting they should have it outside at night, so that they can understand just a very small portion of what it’s like to sleep under a porch, on a bench, and just on the plain freezing sidewalk all night. After the Zoning Board meeting, everyone was able to go back home to their own home with heat, a bed, and warm place to sleep. But because of their decision, the homeless now will not get the chance to stay somewhere warm at night when it’s below 32 degrees. They won’t get to experience someone else’s kindness to help them stay off the street for one night. What they do get, is their own city saying that it’s OK if they die out on the street tonight.
Gloversville will only continue to fail their own people if they get away with treating the homeless like they are worthless. Their lack of compassion is heartbreaking at its finest.