LETTER: Moral obligation to help people in need

The Abbotsford mayor and councillors seem not to be inept, but instead mature for being open to what first hand knowledge and insight...

This is a response to C. Howard’s Nov. 6 letter “Check yes or no.”

Stating that the recommendation by the City of Abbotsford’s mayor and councillors to hire a homeless coordinator to assist in decisions regarding vagrants is insanity begs the question, is it true that it would not be most valuable to have input and advice on how to best reduce harms associated with homelessness to ultimately help those people integrate into society from someone already experiencing that way of life?

The Abbotsford mayor and councillors seem not to be inept, but instead mature for being open to what first hand knowledge and insight may result in appointing a representative to support and aid positive change concerning the problem of homelessness in the city.

To put Abbotsford’s vagrant issue to referendum and removing people upon the majority voting no as C. Howard suggests, would be an appalling violation of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms which states, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof.” It is arguable that correspondingly, we as a nation have a moral obligation to help people in need to provide citizens with tools to better their quality of life and thus contribute to society if we are able to provide the resources necessary.

Insinuating that though the mayor and councillors need to make tough decisions Abbotsford residents elected them to make, C. Howard has poisoned the well by putting doubt in readers’ minds that they will be competent in doing so.

Furthermore, to say that creating a dignity village anywhere in the city would not solve any vagrant problems but instead just relocate these problems is a faulty analogy. Creating a dignity village is not the same as relocating vagrant problems because a dignity village would offer homeless people a place to live while providing opportunities and services to get a job and help people back on their feet while relocating vagrants would marginalize them further and not assist them in any way.

Finally, referring to resolution needing to be made about this “vagrant terrorist situation” is a rather insulting and derogatory term to use, as terrorism is a very serious matter and to label those who inflict no harm or fear upon the public as terrorists will not only potentially offend others but will also do nothing to help your case.


Kristen Kohuch