LETTER: Not the responsibility of government to give homeless whatever they want

Provision of social housing must include mandatory treatment for addiction

I have read the letter from Jorrie Alary of Mission, and am amazed at her theories. Perhaps she has never had the occasion of observing these homeless people, or she simply closes her eyes to the facts.

She is correct in stating the issue is complex but most of the reasons for the homelessness are the fact that the vast majority simply do not want to work or get assistance to overcome their addictions. All they want is for the rest of society to pay their bills, in addition to cleaning up after them. Several years ago, a man with whom I was marginally acquainted openly stated he was quitting work as he could claim welfare, and as a result there was no reason for him to work. He did follow through on that statement and although I have not had any reason to maintain contact with him, I am convinced he continues to live off the rest of us.

Contrary to the statement by Ms. Alary, providing the necessities of life does indeed enable homelessness and encourages them in their chosen lifestyle. They have become accustomed to our providing for them without any consequence whatever. While I totally disagree with the spraying of manure (on homeless camps) I can only state that would not be any worse than the conditions under which the homeless have chosen to live. Simply seeing the garbage and debris left behind when they have been forced to move is proof in itself.

It is not the responsibility of government – that means you and me – to simply give these people whatever they want, and thus fund their addiction whether that be drugs or alcohol. If social housing is to be offered, there must be some firm rules set down for those who chose to occupy same. Those rules must include mandatory treatment for addiction issues and strict rules with respect to cleanliness. You cannot reform any person, homeless or otherwise, without setting down rules and mandatory treatment.

If Ms. Alary believes what she states, perhaps she would appreciate a homeless camp on her property or in her vicinity. There can be no lasting solution to this problem without making the homeless accountable. Simply providing for them without any demands from these individuals will only promote more problems within our society and, contrary to the statement of Ms. Alary; this action will definitely encourage others into our community.

Frank Wirrell

Abbotsford