Happy New Year.
Honestly I would not have know it was New Years Eve if not for Facebook. The work we do does not stop for Holidays. The dusting to an inch of snow ended up as 8+ inches. The day started at 11 degrees and dropped through the day. Right now it is negative 3 with windchills in the 20 below mark. So today truly was a day that meant we were dealing with life and death. Word on the street is that one of our street people froze to death last night.
My day started with clearing snow. I arrived at the center covered in snow soaking wet. I dried off and got coffee going for the 2 people who came by to shovel the snow around the center. Eventually more of the staff arrived and the rest of the day began. We had a homeless person come over to shower and warm up. Eventually others came to warm up. The Staff made chili and GaBooBoo bread, I know I say it wrong but it is tasty.
The Homeless collation took over operation of the Homeless Shelter in Pine Ridge this afternoon. So at 4 we took one of the big vans and drove the guests to the shelter. A rear wheel drive van in 8+ inches across the fields is NOT fun. But the homeless were thrilled that they could now use the shelter. We brought the leftover Chili for dinner. I ran back to the center and returned with more blankets and a snow shovel. The intent of the us running the shelter is to keep people alive and to do it while helping them have dignity.
Today is not the only holiday that, well frankly, does not fell like a holiday. Perhaps it is a response to the COVID precautions. Or perhaps it is the issues that the people face. We had many people approach us asking for us to make Christmas happen for them. And Thanksgiving has its own issues and I encourage you to research the true story of Thanksgiving. We fed many people on Thanksgiving this in spite of the center being closed and us being off. The one thing that I can count on is Fireworks. The 4th was 2 weeks of nightly displays. I am telling you professional displays have nothing on the people of Pine Ridge. Being New Years eve we have had multiple fireworks exploding around us. The Dogs do not like them.
In any case when you are simply trying to survive holidays have a different meaning. I have previously pointed out that I struggle to take time off. This is in part because of the great need that is all around us.