Take action to provide shelter
Elijah Joseph Pickard-Aguilar was 29 years old on the night he died from hypothermia behind a strip mall in Medford. Pickard-Aguilar was homeless and the temperature on the night of his death was in the 20s.
Police have ruled out “foul play” and have concluded that his death was “accidental.” This means that Pickard-Aguilar wasn’t poisoned, hit over the head, shot, or stabbed.
His death was not the result of a single discrete act by a readily identifiable individual. But when all is said and done, neglect and indifference has proven to be no less deadly.
If we were to be honest with ourselves we wouldn’t call his death “accidental.” We would recognize it as the predictable consequence of our decision to ignore homelessness and to discount the lives of our neighbors.
We may mourn now, but for it to be anything less than shallow pretense, we must also take action to provide emergency shelter and dignified housing to those who have been left outdoors.