|Everyone at Zion had a sandwich for the road when |
they returned to the warming center.
Corinne and Brett Feldman are certified physician assistants whose vocation is to provide what they call street medicine for the homeless. They also have a blog called Street Medicine Lehigh Valley, and make some interesting observations about the shut-out, in a post entitled "Whose Job Is It Anyway?"
First, though we all know that the freezing point for water is 32 degrees, but human flesh can freeze at 40. The Code Blue designation used by Lehigh County Emergency Management is set at 32 degrees, and should probably be higher. The LC Emergency Management website fails to list the Code Blue designation, even when the temp is below 32 degrees.
Second, the Lehigh Conference of Churches, which receives public funding and claimed to have plans for these kinds of contingencies, needs to be held accountable. But we are all accountable.
In times of trial when human lives and dignity are on the line it is ALL of our responsibility to care for those in need. If you’ve accepted the public commission to care for the most vulnerable, you can’t abandon that post in the worst of times. At the same time, if you haven’t accepted that post in an official matter you aren’t absolved of your moral responsibility. This weekend in Allentown that is exactly what happened. Although not bound by grants or funding, Zion Church opened their doors to those most in need of sheltering from danger, just as they did in 1777 when they “housed” the Liberty Bell, keeping it safe from the British during the Revolutionary War (www.libertybellchurch.org). Let it be a lesson learned; that true responsibility comes from within.