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Creative Solutions Needed For Shelters

To The Reader’s Forum:

I recently suggested that local schools could be opened for warming centers or temporary shelter during severe weather and loss of power and thus Loss of heat in peoples’ homes. The elderly, children and chronically ill people are at risk during these times and need some place to be warm but do not have emergency generators nor alternate sources for heat. Some may not have family nearby or any other family at all. Some may not be able to leave and get to libraries or other places during the day because they do not have transportation or they can not use their walkers or wheelchairs in snow or on ice, thus will need to remain there for the duration of the power outage or until the temperature rises.

When it occurs that schools are closed because of these results of savage weather it would seem that the spaces within could be used for warming and even temporary abode for above mentioned populations. I was asked what my feelings would be if I were a school principal or administrator and had to have people allowed into my school who for one reason were living on the street and might be bringing undesirable elements related to homeless ; but they too need to be warm and not die on the street by freezing. So, I admitted that I would be concerned, but would not close the door on the concept just because of my concerns. Schools face the challenge many times when children living in cars ,under bridges or in substandard housing come to school with such things as lice, etc.

I would hope that people in decision making positions for this concept to use resources and spaces where children are accustomed to being in and could feel safe and comfortable in would share my point of view.

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