This letter is in response to Mayor Selby’s decision not to support funding for the winter warming center. Although I’m disappointed, I am not surprised by this announcement. I don’t think anyone is. Mayor Selby has been consistently vocal in her anti-homeless sentiments.
What does surprise me is that as a downtown business owner, she would think not supporting the warming center is good business. As was stated in the article, without the center people will find other places to escape the cold, like the library and other downtown businesses. It’s a matter of survival. The homeless and the public at large are less safe without a warming center. Downtown businesses will suffer.
I was at the warming center several times over the season. I often took my child with me. I always felt safe and welcomed by staff and clients alike. I never once witnessed the conditions the mayor claims to have seen. I find it troubling she is so blatantly judging the warming center when she never once visited it. I don’t think a drive-by is a satisfactory measurement with which to make that kind of determination, especially if you’re the mayor.
The winter warming center isn’t just good for homeless people. It’s good for business, and it’s good for the community. Mayor Selby should be ashamed of her lack of engagement, compassion, and good business sense. Our community deserves better.