The City of Revere says it is opening an emergency warming center at the Rossetti-Cowan Senior Center despite a lot of debate amongst city councillors and backlash from Revere’s seniors. This local news story even made the Boston Herald recently.
The warming center is being called a temporary refuge for both the homeless and also residents without power and would be open every night until March 31. According to City Councillor Marc Silvestri, “We have a growing population that is unsheltered. We’re not opening the floodgates here. It’s to show that we do care about everybody. [Homelessness] is a crisis the country is facing.”
However, many Revere seniors have been telling the City Council they believe the senior center is not the right location, citing real COVID fears. Many seniors seem dead set against this idea.
According to city officials, the senior center will not be impacted by the warming center which will be open from 7:00 PM until 7:00 AM. Those in the warming center will not have access to the senior center.
The City says the warming center will be managed and staffed by a non-profit and just 15 guests will be allowed in per night. According to City Hall, the center will not be a shelter and it will not have beds or serve food. If the hours are 7:00 PM until 7:00 AM, what do city officials think those sheltering themselves will be doing for those 12 hours? Will they stay up all night watching television? I see them sleeping up there, don’t you? They will also get hungry – I see food up there, too.
The warming center is either a shelter or it’s not. What happens when the sixteenth guest arrives at the door? No wonder the elderly is skeptical, they’ve seen this show before.
In closing, I am still not sure what to make about that letter in last week’s Revere Advocate about cobra snakes (Letter-to-the-Editor) taking over the senior center. We have enough to worry about without fearing a snake conspiracy theory, too.
It would be nice if people could believe what they are being told but the senior population of Revere aren’t living in fantasyland. Can you really trust what politicians say? The trust is long gone now. Actions speak louder than words. It will be up to the seniors who use their senior center to hold the feet of our politicians to the fire. They work for you, not the other way around.