Get unlimited digital access to baltimoresun.com. $0.99 for 4 weeks.
News Opinion Readers Respond

For homeless people, cold weather is a killing season

Reducing access to life-saving Code Blue shelter services gives us the chills ("City revises emergency cold weather criteria," Dec. 8). Each year, too many of our homeless neighbors experience frostbite, amputations and even death because they lack adequate shelter.

The National Coalition for the Homeless reports that 700 homeless people in the U.S. die every year from hypothermia. These are entirely preventable deaths. In Baltimore, we commemorate some of these deaths on Homeless Persons Memorial Day, Dec. 21, the longest night of the year.

How many of our neighbors will we commemorate because of the city's short-sighted decision? Of 77 jurisdictions surveyed by the National Coalition for the Homeless, only 14 required temperatures to drop as low as Baltimore City does before opening their Code Blue shelters.

As Baltimore's 10-year plan to end homelessness recognizes, only permanent affordable housing, adequate incomes and accessible services can end homelessness. But in the meantime, access to cold weather emergency shelter will keep people safe this winter.

Lauren Siegel, Baltimore

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • The lessons of Ferguson

    The Justice Department on Wednesday released a devastating critique of police and city officials in Ferguson, Mo., where an unarmed black teenager was fatally shot by an officer last year. Though the department did not find cause to bring a civil rights indictment against the officer who killed...

  • Protecting the bay is a shared responsibility
    Protecting the bay is a shared responsibility

    I don't claim to know the details of Maryland's so-called "rain tax," but I do believe that improving the Chesapeake Bay is a responsibility all of us share ("Senators hear bid to repeal law requiring stormwater fees," March 3).

  • Don't allow Netanyahu to talk us into war
    Don't allow Netanyahu to talk us into war

    As an American, I'm outraged any foreign leader would come here and tell us what to do. By turning Washington into a "campaign stump," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was offensive ("Netanyahu's speech," March 4). This is the United States of America, and we don't like being pushed...

  • Repeal ACA — and get single payer
    Repeal ACA — and get single payer

    Conservatives better hope Obamacare is not repealed ("Supreme Court takes up major fight with Obamacare subsidies," March 4) because if it is, we will be taking a giant step toward the (preferable, inevitable and much simpler and business friendly) Single Payer System!

  • Does free birth control encourage teen sex?
    Does free birth control encourage teen sex?

    Your recent article and subsequent editorial on the decrease in teen pregnancies brought a few questions to mind ("Teen pregnancies in Baltimore drop by a third," Feb. 24).

  • Stormwater remediation needs to happen at the source
    Stormwater remediation needs to happen at the source

    Property owners need to be responsible for their storm water discharge, not local government ("Senators hear bid to repeal law requiring stormwater fees," March 3).

Comments
Loading