This week, the City, under pressure from the community, opened its Metro Hall facility as a ‘warming centre’ for homeless people. The onset of early cold weather, before the normal winter response measures were properly in place, had thrown the overstretched shelter system into crisis. City TV aired a rather good segment that counterpoised the lies and evasions of the shelter bureaucracy with the reality of system that has been overwhelmed. The seven thousand people forced into the main shelter system every night, the hundreds who must make do with substandard backup facilities and the huge numbers who have no shelter options whatsoever all know the system can’t cope, as does any service provider seeking bed space for a client. I don’t propose to haggle here with the wretched apologists for the City who will pretend everything is a little strained but under control. I want, rather, to respond to the abandonment of people on the streets in a city that drips with wealth and try to grapple with why this is so.