What is our responsibility?

posted by Mike on March 15th, 2005

St. John’s Parish is in the news again today, in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. The complete article is on Worcester Indymedia; here’s the intro:

Vigil to focus on homeless
By Martin Luttrell TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

WORCESTER — Friends of a homeless man who died sleeping in a church garage last week say there are not enough services for the homeless, and they plan to hold a vigil in front of City Hall a week from today to remember him and raise awareness of the need for services.

Bobby was in the unheated church garage because he did not feel safe (according to the paper) at the city’s main shelter, the PIP. This raises a couple of questions. (1) What kinds of living conditions do we owe those to whom we offer hospitality? (2) What is going on when someone would rather spend the winter in an unheated garage rather than a homeless shelter?

St. John’s does a lot of good work, and I hope their efforts are not hindered by this wannabe-scandal.

I wish the article had included more specific suggestions on what the city should do, or what individuals should do other than “raise awareness.”