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Homeless people in Columbus, Ohio are being turned away from shelters with nowhere to seek refuge from temperatures in the 30s.

City rules stipulate that all people are guaranteed shelter when the temperature dips below 25 degrees. (Since 27 degrees, or 29, or 32, isn't dangerous?) But because it was 39 degrees and rainy in November, 41 men and women were turned away from the Faith Mission, where 514 beds were already full.

Here's where the city is stuck between a rock and a hard place. In recent years it has targeted its funding at getting its homeless residents into apartments, rather than adding shelter beds. But now that the economy is forcing people to seek help for the first time, there aren't enough beds to go around. Non-profit officials acknowledge that they might have to rent additional space for temporary shelter this year.

Tell Columbus to provide shelter to everyone who needs it. If the budget is tight, tell the city to guarantee shelter at least until the weather reaches a non-dangerous temperature. 

Photo credit: Jason

Letter to
Columbus City Clerk Andrea Blevins
Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman
I was dismayed to learn recently that homeless people in Columbus, Ohio are being turned away from shelters with nowhere to seek refuge from temperatures in the 30s.

City rules stipulate that all people are guaranteed shelter when the temperature dips below 25 degrees. But because it was 39 degrees and rainy in November, 41 men and women were turned away from the Faith Mission, where 514 beds were already full.

Here's where the city is stuck between a rock and a hard place. In recent years I understand it has wisely targeted its funding at getting its homeless residents into apartments, rather than adding shelter beds. But now that the economy is forcing people to seek help for the first time, there aren't enough beds to go around. Non-profit officials acknowledge that they might have to rent additional space for temporary shelter this year.

Please provide shelter to everyone who needs. It's the right thing to do. If the budget is tight, and I know it is, please guarantee shelter at least until the weather reaches a non-dangerous temperature.