...I received a car load of bags of shoes, underpants, socks, winter coats and some women's clothes. I also received two cash donations, which I am keeping in hand for the doldrums of late winter. I am so very grateful to the men and women who took the time to sort through closets and give over some mighty decent shoes and brand new socks and underpants as well as the hardly used ones.
By the end of January, many of the people we are sheltering have had hard weeks on the streets, for hours at a time walking in the slush that is the mainstay of Halifax's winters. Boots are either hard to come by or are quickly lost or stolen. The runners are not built to be continually in water and so the soles separate from the tops, water gets in the laces or comes up over the tops when deep puddles are stepped in. It doesn't take long for blisters, chilblains or frost bite to set in. A person's feet can swell two sizes from the effects of constant cold. If a person's feet are in terrible pain, it becomes hard to walk. Yet this is what a homeless person faces each day. Walking from place to place for hours, trying to keep warm and not get in trouble for loitering. Or they sit on the cold sidewalks or walls, another sure way to keep the feet cold. Let's not quibble about the why's and wherefores of homelessness, let's recognize that cold is cold and no one willingly wants to be suffering outdoors in a Canadian winter. I am so grateful that so many people chose not to step over a homeless person and look the other way. Thank you again.