Friday, December 20, 2013

Frozen Out

Trey Smith

Joe White was this close to making it.

A 50-year-old California man described by relatives as a “loving father and a doting grandfather,” White had been living on the streets of Hayward for years. He wanted to work and was able to find odd jobs here and there, but it was never much or consistent enough to afford a place to live. Hayward has no emergency shelter with beds for single men, so White slept outside.

But things were looking up. Last Saturday, White was second on a long list to get permanent supportive housing in Hayward. He had been waiting in line for months and it seemed as though he might finally catch a break.

White died on Sunday.

Temperatures in the Bay Area plummeted to near-freezing on December 10, an uncommon occurrence in a region generally known for its lack of inclement weather. White’s body was found in the old Hayward City Hall courtyard. He’d been beaten up and robbed by multiple men, who took the new winter coat White’s sister had given him on Friday. He was wearing just a hoodie and shorts. His cause of death is still being determined, but police speculated that his death was weather-related.

White is now the seventh homeless person in the Bay Area to die in the cold since November 28. The others were Daniel Brillhart, 52; Enrique Rubio, 56; Andrew Greenleaf, 48; Daniel Moore, 53; and two men in the East Bay and Peninsula whose names have not been released.
~ from 7 Homeless People Freeze to Death in Wealthiest Area of the Country by Scott Keyes ~
Seven doesn't sound like that large of a number. For those who live in colder climes, the figure probably is much higher. But that's not the point.

We live in a nation in which corporate profits are soaring to record heights and those who are reaping these rewards concurrently are pushing to lower their responsibility to the community -- via taxes -- by even more than they already are. The deaths of these 7 individuals represent blood on the hands of the elite, but they don't give a damn.

Their sole focus is on the welfare of themselves and their kind. They don't care about the rest of us. Any way one looks at it, that is sad. Tragically sad.

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