Tuesday, October 22, 2013

St Martin-in-Provo

As a child I remember visiting St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Standing in the church some adult told the story of a brave priest who stood up to popular opinion and left the door to the church unlocked so that the homeless would have a place to sleep in the heart of the big city. I looked around what appeared to me to be a fancy church and I could understand why people would want to protect it. I also through that the priest had the right idea. There, in a city filled with palaces and museums, was one place where no matter how poor you were, no matter how low you were on the social scale, no matter how damaged you might be, there was one place that would let you in on a cold night.

Now, I understand that there were risks in the priest's behavior. Risks to the building and risks to the random individuals that might enter it. But it was still the right thing to do.

We have a chance to do the same thing. With winter approaching Provo I can see the need for a refuge for those who have nothing. Perhaps one of our leaders will be as brave as that English priest and suggest that when the new temple is finished we could open, if not its doors to the homeless, at least the doors of the parking garage*. Each night after the temple closes a group of brethren could volunteer to let the homeless sleep in the lower levels of the garage where the depth of the earth will insulate the ground and keep the people from freezing. Early in the morning as the temple opens the homeless could wander out, the area could be cleaned, and the temple patrons could park. It wouldn't take many people to support the operation and the cost would be minimal.

Who knows, if it works they could try something similar in Salt Lake City with the big new mall that sits empty between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am.

*As I recall, from time to time the homeless in Provo were housed in the Hotel Roberts which stood close to, if not exactly where the new temple parking garage will be built.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.