LETTER: Do something about homelessness

How can the homeless hope to survive if they have no one to help?

I am a Grade 8 student at Abbotsford Christian Middle School. I have been looking into the homeless situation in Abbotsford and all the causes of it.

I would like something to change about this, and something needs to happen. Here I stand for homelessness in Abbotsford.

It is no doubt that homelessness is becoming a devastating problem in Abbotsford, and the truth is that not much is being done to change it. Homelessness is effecting the environment, the economy, and individual people. It’s rare to find someone homeless for one specific reason, but can’t we still help?

Operating homeless shelters and other services costs money, and most of these services are unfunded. This means that the only funding is coming from private donations and taxpayer dollars. Because these services are not well-funded, the homeless are only able to receive the most basic of needs.

Homeless are forced to find alternate means of getting their basic need met. Some homeless steal to stay alive, which may cost them a fine. A fine means money that they don’t have, or they may end up with time in jail, for most it is better than what they have now.

The negative things being done to change homelessness are overwhelming. Abbotsford spread chicken manure by the Salvation Army where a homeless camp was placed. Homeless were forced out of the only places they could really go.

There were also allegations that city officers destroyed tents belonging to homeless people. The slashing of tents is nothing new to the homeless, which in my opinion is very despairing. They have no place to go, and nowhere that they can call home.

I have heard many opinions about the homeless situation in Abbotsford, and the one thing I hear frequently is: Something needs to be done. No matter whom the person is, nor their own take on homeless people, all of them think that something needs to be done. Some classmates of mine suggested that Abbotsford have a specific place for the homeless to stay. Perhaps an organized campsite somewhere in Abbotsford can have minimal costs, and could be very efficient. How can the homeless hope to survive if they have no one to help? They live day and night without a home, and not many have basic qualifications to get a job. They can’t break out of the poverty cycle on their own.

I think that something can definitely be done about this. Not just for the city of Abbotsford, but also for the homeless people. The homeless don’t have a very big voice in our community. Someone can be their voice. We can be their voice. We can change our city for the better; we can change a major problem in our community. My major point here is this: Do something.

Alyssa Roth