LETTER: Food and clothing are the necessities of life – not enablers

Ms. Fraser is evidently not in favour of Abbotsford’s housing plans for the homeless and also shows no favor towards feeding or clothing

I came across a letter on Oct. 29 written by Vereena Fraser about how we need to stop inviting homeless people to our community.

Ms. Fraser is evidently not in favour of Abbotsford’s housing plans for the homeless and also shows no favor towards feeding or clothing them as well.

Ms. Fraser begins her letter by comparing homeless people of Abbotsford to the bears near her previous campsite.

She claims that we are attracting homeless people to our city by providing food, clothing, etc.

Yet those are some of the necessities required to live.

It is apparent that Ms. Fraser assumes we are inviting the homeless from neighbouring communities.

However, the majority of us remember the manure that was spread around Abbotsford in hopes to kick them out of town.

Not a very welcoming invitation.

Ms. Fraser continues to suggest that by giving aid to the homeless, we are enabling their behaviour.

The term enabling, as we are aware, means to encourage and to allow.

By simply providing free food and clothing for the homeless, we are not enabling them to be homeless.

We are allowing them to live. If they have no income, they are not making money. If they are not making money how are they supposed to eat? If they do not have access to free food, many may have to steal as a means of survival.

In Abbotsford’s most recent homeless survey, it was stated that 27 per cent of homeless people in Abbotsford have a form of mental illness and 19 per cent have a disability.

Ms. Fraser expresses how these homeless people choose to live this way, yet does not consider some major barriers these homeless people experience.

Homeless people are also unable to apply for income assistance, or jobs, because they need an address.

If they are homeless, they cannot have an address. Without an address, they are unable to collect cheques or income assistance.

It is not fair to make a general assumption that all homeless people choose to live this lifestyle.

Ms. Fraser concludes her letter by stating we must begin protecting the rights, property and safety of hard-working, honest people.

Again, it was our city that spread manure on these people’s tents and on their belongings.

Please consider how being homeless does not mean you are any less honest then someone with a job.

As we know, employed people are capable of destroying property, and being dishonest just as well.

Fatima Mohammad