More hands, lighter load

Nobody will say that finding, funding and operating a shelter for homeless people is easy. But when it comes down to it, it’s a challenge well within the capabilities of a town the size of Slave Lake.

There are lots of resources at hand, human and otherwise. So it has just recently been demonstrated, with the shelter set up in a new, more affordable location, at least for the rest of this winter. And not a moment too soon, as the temperatures dropped into the negative thirties just as Christmas arrived.

The burden of running such a program becomes so much lighter when it is spread across an entire community. And the task of looking after the most vulnerable members of a community should properly be regarded as a community responsibility. If it is – when it is – the job becomes more than bearable.

Once that happy state of affairs is achieved (we’re not saying it has been – just that it seems a lot closer than before), the focus can change to figuring out what got these unfortunate folks into the state they are in, and what can be done to help them get out of it.

It’s a complicated issue, with no simple answers. But the basic humanitarian challenge (mere survival) needed to be confronted and overcome, and for the time being, it has. That’s a win for the whole community.

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