On what was likely the coldest day of the year, and definitely the windiest, I lost heat in my apartment. It was a terrible day, but I’m so very lucky. Yesterday reminded me why I support Rosie’s Place, an organization in Boston that serves poor and unhoused women.

March roared in

In like a lion much, March? Sheesh. We had near hurricane-force wind gusts here, and if yesterday was not the coldest day of the year, it certainly had the most dramatic wind chill. I think the weathergods heard me exalting in warmer days, and my building heard me complaining about how hot it is in here most of the time and they conspired to give me my comeuppance.

I lost heat.

Blankets required for Tuesday morning rituals! Somerville, Massachusetts, USA

So. Very. Cold

Normally I sleep with just a sheet and a duvet, and I normally kick off the duvet, due to the tropical temperatures in here. Monday night I had long johns, two pairs of socks, and a sweater, and Ollie dove under the covers, which included every decorative throw I own. My morning rituals were done from under two blankets.

Then it got worse. The wind continued to rip, and any remaining heat left the building. At one point, I think I saw my breath. I had a full morning of demos to do, and I was most grateful that the groups tend not to use video, because the blankets stayed put. 

My building’s maintenance manager thankfully sent someone right away, but it took several attempts to fix. At one point, I just grabbed Ollie and got back into bed. Only in the evening did the chill begin to abate, and I finished my workday.

My apartment on March 2 (really Lake Winnisquam, Laconia, New Hampshire, USA)

I had a bad day, but I am very lucky

Yesterday was awful. Poor Ollie, Southern boy that he is, does not tolerate cold well, and helping him stay warm proved challenging. My feet started to go numb, and my hands ached.

And I was so incredibly lucky. I may have lost heat, but it was only temporary. As cold as it was in here, I had shelter. Blankets. Access to repair, without any argument whatsoever. If the repairs didn’t work, I had friends and coworkers offer to help me, and I had the resources to be able to find a place to stay. 

Supporting organizations that help the unhoused, like Boston’s Rosie’s Place

At the beginning of the year, I was looking for an organization to support monthly, in addition to my ongoing monthly donation to the ACLU. I chose Rosie’s Place, an organization in Boston that provides meals, shelter, housing, education, and other services to poor and unhoused women. Rosie’s Place was the first such organization in the US to focus on women.  

Days like today remind me of why the work Rosie’s Place does is so important. They are working on a complex issue. We need to address the causes of this and prevent it from happening. It is to our shame that as the richest nation in this history of the world that so many people have been forced to be unhoused.

Please consider helping if you can

We also have an obligation to help people now. Do you support a local organization addressing the needs of people in your community? Please share it in the comments. If you are able to help and aren’t yet, please consider doing so. Local organizations need your support.