As the frigid weather arrives, we are reminded of those who are homeless and in danger on the streets [“Too cold on streets,” News, Jan. 4]. We are also reminded of Nassau County’s indefensible policy requiring all shelters to lock their doors during a good portion of daytime hours, no matter whether the residents are newborn babies, schoolchildren or people who are disabled or frail.
It’s not enough that hours of lockout for those in family shelters in winter months have been reduced from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s not enough that Nassau, most likely in response to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s executive order, has just sent an advisory memo to shelters to extend their hours of operation when the temperature goes below 32 degrees.
Modifying lockout hours during extreme conditions does little to assist those in shelters when the temperature remains cold but higher than 32 degrees.
We call on our government to immediately end locking out those in need from the protective environment they have sought for themselves and their families.
Rabbi Marc Gruber and Louise Skolnik, Rockville Centre
Editor’s note: The writers represent the Central Synagogue of Nassau County.