Editorial: A home for the holidays

This time of year we spend a lot of time thinking about warmth.

This time of year we spend a lot of time thinking about warmth.

There’s the warmth that comes with the feelings of goodwill that pervade society, but there is also the simple warmth of sitting by a fire or the warmth of being with friends and family as we gather in the days of growing darkness through this holiday season.

But as we revel in this warmth, remember there are still many for whom warmth is a luxury, homeless or with limited means forcing them to choose between eating or being warm.

Society tends to look out for these people a little more at this time of year, funding emergency cold shelters, giving a little extra to the food bank so they can have a Christmas hamper, and supporting other services.

Food, clothing and shelter are the most basic needs we have. For the less fortunate in society meeting those needs is an everyday problem; and shelter and staying warm can be the most difficult of all.

Penticton has seen some important steps forward in this process over the last year, including the conversion of the old Bel-Air motel into truly low-cost housing and a deal that will see rental units for low and moderate income built on Brunswick Street.

By themselves, though, it’s not enough to give everyone a warm place to call home. Every step along the way is progress to building a better life, and there are some simple actions governments could take, like nailing down the definition of what constitutes affordable housing, so developers will stop attaching that phrase to $400,000 condo projects.

Come Christmas Day, there will be cold and hungry people on the streets. Nor is this going to be the last year for that. But if we make that one of the cornerstones of building a just society, maybe someday we will get there.

Just Posted

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Rollover closes road

No serious injuries reported in a rollover off South Main in Penticton

Raven story shines light at Children’s Showcase

Season opener of the Children’s Showcase in Penticton

Student leadership conference hits home

Nearly 500 Grade 5 students taking part in leadership conference in Penticton

Penticton dancers headed to Germany for world championship

Penticton dancers representing Canada at World Dance Championships

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Have you heard about Black Press scholarships?

Up to 37 scholarships are awarded each year to students throughout British Columbia

Most Read