LETTER: Fighting homelessness

I find the notice, “In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least, you have done it unto Me”, Matthew 25:40, posted on the fence by the old hospital grounds, captivating. The same Bible states, ” If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” 2 Thess. 3:10.

Posting such signs, does not do much to tackle the root causes for homelessness, does it?

Harsh reality is that current statistics portray a woeful picture indeed.

Here are just a few – a quarter of homeless are children. Why? More than 90 per cent of homeless woman are victims of severe physical or sexual abuse. Fifty percent of young people report their parents knew they were leaving but did not care. Another 21 to 40 per cent are sexually abused, while 41 per cent are abandoned by their parents.

Many are run away’s, and the HIV rates for homeless are three to nine times higher then normal. Homelessness in BC costs $1 billion per year. The main causes for homelessness stem from physical, sexual and emotional abuses.

I am totally convinced that the root causes of these problems need to be addressed first.

One sure way to lend help is by the likes of the Abbotsford Life Recovery Association who do make a big difference in the lives of desperate souls. Life recovery supplies housing, a must to attend educational classes each week for three months. Another three month of housing is provided for those who do need it. Then there is the 2nd stage housing program for one year so that clients can find themselves a job and housing for themselves.

I believe programs like these truly is addressing the root of their problems. Encouraging the homeless to continue wallowing in their present unhealthy noxious conditions is not the way to go. Finding ways to get them out of there to start living a more healthy life style is. That’s where our focus should be.

Don’t you agree?

Gertie Pool

Abbotsford, BC