By Eli Schwartz
With uncharacteristic sub-zero temperatures plaguing southern Colorado, many Puebloans have been making demands for the local government to intervene to keep the homeless population warm. The City Council of Pueblo listened, declaring a temporary emergency with the recent invoking of Ordinance No. 10058. This ordinance permits “religious institutions to operate overnight warming shelters”, which is a much needed action for the community.
The enactment of this ordinance is only temporary, but it shouldn’t be. According to the Center for Disease Control, hypothermia can occur at temperatures even above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and the homeless are being exposed to temperatures 50 degrees below that. If the homeless are continually ignored and left outside to freeze, the community will bear the responsibility of involuntary manslaughter.
With a life-or-death issue like this, it is imperative that Pueblo cements this ordinance into a permanent law. The local government must be able to warmly house homeless Puebloans without the complicated process of acquiring correct authorizations. Any other action is immoral, unethical, and inhumane to the destitute people of Pueblo, Colorado.
The invoking of Ordinance Number 10058 is a small step in the right direction. But we mustn't stop walking.