There is a health and safety hazard at Deering Pavilion, an affordable-housing complex for low-income seniors and disabled folks.

The problem? No bus shelter. Common decency requires the landlord to provide, as essential infrastructure, a weather-protected place for these vulnerable tenants to sit; a place to rest old bones and old joints while waiting for five to 55 minutes or more for a bus.

Now here’s the heart of the matter. A bus shelter, especially for such people, can literally be a life-saver, preventing injury, illness, even death from pneumonia or sunstroke or from a fall-induced broken hip. All this should be obvious.

But it is not obvious to this landlord. When you consider that the landlord is, ironically, the Catholic Church, you well might ask: What would Jesus do, or Pope Francis?

Will humility and compassion finally emerge from this darkness? Will the landlord see the light and “get religion,” so to speak? Only God knows.

Nicholas Afaami

Portland


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