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Info needs to be spread far and wide

It’s completely unrealistic to assume that someone without access to a stable living environment has access to the Internet.

It’s just that simple.

So, with the recent cold weather snap, it’s completely reasonable to assume that someone who has recently found themselves without a home, will have no knowledge of the resources available to them to stay out of the cold.

And while this may seem obvious to some, the recent cold snap and snow appears to have blinded some of our elected officials.

In speaking with The Oshawa Express, some city officials noted that a lot of the information regarding the locations and hours and spaces available at the region’s cold weather shelters is already widely available, and most of those who require this information already know where to go or where to find it. However, that gives little help to those who may have recently found themselves homeless, out in the cold, with nowhere to go and nowhere to access the information, and that definitely needs to change.

Posting these locations and these hours inside city facilities as well as in some locations visible during off hours, like a window or bulletin board, could go a long way towards helping someone in a time of crisis, and potentially save a life.

It’s a suggestion also heralded by Councillor Amy McQuaid-England, who is also pushing for more resources and dollars directed to warming centres and shelters. With that said, Councillor McQuaid-England may be getting slightly ahead of things by asking that further resources be applied, since staff are reporting that they have yet to reach capacity levels at regional shelters. However, it doesn’t mean the region shouldn’t be prepared.

One thing politicians love to share on a regular basis is the continued growth of the region, but one of the things they don’t like to talk about is the cost that comes along with that growth.

The issues of warming centres and the resources for the less fortunate falls directly into that growth. It’s an unfortunate reality that as our city grows there will become a higher need for these types of warming centres and overnight shelters. So, while McQuaid-England may be sounding the alarm a little soon, she should keep her hand close to the switch.