The forgotten rememberedPublished 7:17pm Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Freezing cold. Bitter cold. The coldest we’ve seen it in years, perhaps. Today marks the official end of our part of the polar vortex that swept the nation. And many of us are so very glad it has gone.
According to officials, Beaufort County was prepared for the weather this time around. But while we were out preparing, each in our own way — stocking up on food and fuel — there were others preparing for the weather on a larger scale.
Perhaps the most unnoticed preparation was by those who serve a largely invisible community here: the homeless among us. Yes, they exist. You may not come into contact with the homeless regularly, if at all, but homelessness is not a condition reserved for big cities. It’s here.
As cold weather was moving in, three agencies worked together to make sure the homeless were not forgotten. A dialogue between representatives of the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the local homeless shelter at Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church began, with the Salvation Army prepared to open its doors just to give people a cup of hot coffee and a place to warm up. These agencies took pains to remember those who are often overlooked, even as they made their own preparations for the weather.
Whether the shelter was full to overflowing and the Salvation Army packed with stranded travelers is immaterial. What matters is that the pieces were in place. We are indeed fortunate to have organizations, and people who work for them, reach out to those who have the least among us.