On November 8, 2023

Help the homeless stay warm in winter

 

Dear Editor,

As the real winter too fast approaches, there are people and animals in dire situations, and having the good fortune to live in our neighboring towns, we don’t see the reality.

My husband and I left the Paramount Theater in Rutland last week (a great place to volunteer for some wonderful shows) and going to our car, saw a person huddled in  a blanket on the bench outside Walmart, holding a shopping cart.

It was one of those especially wet, cold nights. Fortunately, Walmart is open until 11 p.m. We found a minus 20 rated sleeping bag and a thermal pad to put on the ground on which to sleep. When we went out, he or she was gone. Very disconcerting as we looked for quite a while with no luck. We’ve since learned the homeless people are sleeping by the railroad tracks, under shrubs, and behind three stores. They’re also being attacked during the night. 

It is pretty unimaginable and horrifying all around.

Greg took a load to “BROC,” 45 Union Street, 775-9286, who distributes to those in need. There’s a big need for warm coats, sweaters, wool hats and gloves, boots, animal food and dog/cat coats. 

Last week we also took a load to the Homeless Prevention Center, located at 56 Howe Street, also in Rutland. You can call them at 775-0878,

As we’re changing our clothes to winter, would you please consider any that are in need of replacement that you would want to donate, and put aside? I’ll be happy to connect with you, or, you can bring items to either of the places above for distribution.

I know the shelter program is flawed, but that’s a subject for a follow up later. 

Some may be old enough to remember what a CCC camp was decades ago that worked. Perhaps it’s time to revisit our past for programs that provide an opportunity for those in need to be a part of their solution.

Thanks for really putting yourself in their position. 

Sue & Greg Skaskiw

Bridgewater 

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