We assume it’s cold outside when we see someone wearing a heavy coat. But the homeless man sitting on the street across from me on Franklin Avenue in Yellowknife doesn’t have one, he is alone and his teeth chatter as he shivers to fight the north wind buttoning his torn summer jacket.
Next door to him, there is a warm fast-food restaurant where people are drinking hot coffee as they laugh and converse. Their smiles warm the room as they eat breakfast, many wondering about what they will watch on TV tonight or what to cook for supper once the workday ends.
The man next door wonders to himself if he will freeze to death on the street this winter without proper winter clothing as he stares at the tourists walking by in their Canada Goose down-filled jackets. I know this because I went and spoke to him. I immediately notice his blue chapped hands while taking off my warm mittens my Mother sent to me from Newfoundland. I immediately hand them to him. The tears from his eyes freeze on his face as he tells me he doesn’t know where to turn for help as the temperature plummets here in the Northwest Territories.
It’s minus 17 here today the man says but these mittens and your kindness warm my soul. I fight my own tears as I lay down on a cold sidewalk next to my new friend. I notice tossed cigarette butts nearby on the street that hasn’t been smoked down to anywhere near the filter, abandoned by warm hands because it’s just too cold outside.
I agree. I’m hoping the community embraces my campaign and we can help the people who live on the street. It’s really cold ? here already and most of them don’t have winter clothes. My fear is that I will be reporting their deaths if I don’t try and help.
— Arthur Craig Green (@artcgreen) October 29, 2019
I believe my new friend deserves the dignity and respect of having a new coat and winter clothing to keep him warm in the winter months. It’s why I’m writing this editorial. The Moose 100.1 FM and its employees care about our community. No one should be left in the cold this winter in Yellowknife without the proper clothing.
We are all human is the message I’m trying to get across here. You would be arrested and charged for leaving a pet outside in the unforgiving winter, but it’s perfectly legal to leave people homeless in the cold without a winter jacket?
Our staff is, therefore, starting a ‘Warm Souls: Coats for the cold campaign’ and are asking residents of the NWT who may have extra winter clothing or coats at home to drop them off to our main desk at our station on 49th street between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. We will make sure the people who are cold on the street receive it.
Life is once forever, let’s warm some souls.
“Warm Souls: Coats for the cold campaign”