LETTER: Aren’t people who are homeless as valuable as everyone else?

Blindsided by the ferociousness of business backlash housing project

I’ve lived in Abbotsford for over 20 years and have worked with numerous boards and organizations that serve the less fortunate; I have seen the heart that this community has. However, the recent vocal opposition to the proposed apartment housing facility for homeless men in Abbotsford has really surprised me.

Sadly, much of the information being spread around is incorrect (e.g. There will not be a needle exchange in the facility – contrary to the petition that is currently in a number of the businesses in the downtown core) so residents are making decisions without facts.

Abbotsford Community Services must surely be blindsided by the ferociousness of business backlash in the face of this project. This project is long overdue. We have a homeless problem in this community – it’s time people took their heads out of the sand to deal with it.

Studies have clearly shown that once a vulnerable person has safe housing they are able to get better sleep, their health improves, they eat better and they make positive changes in their lives. Aren’t those things just as vital to a homeless person as to those of us who have housing? Aren’t people who are homeless as valuable as everyone else?

All residents of this facility must have a treatment plan in place before being accepted, there will no illegal drugs allowed on the premises, no guests will be allowed in the rooms – these conditions (and many others) will all help these men make positive changes in their lives.

This housing project is needed – I urge citizens to get the facts and support it.

Wendy McClelland

Abbotsford