First, I would like to apologize to the homeless for the way people talk as though you don’t exist. You do, and you matter – don’t let anyone tell you different.
Second, I live in the area in question. I think it’s a great idea (supportive housing proposal on Gladys Avenue) to use land that, from what I see every day, is not being used.
The only people I’ve seen in that “park land” are city workers tidying it up every so often.
I have lived in this area for 25 years and seen drug raids, car chop shops and grow-ops and never have I complained or been scared because, for the most part, it doesn’t involve me nor has it ever threatened my life.
Having a building in the neighbourhood that helps the homeless would be an improvement.
No, they are not all drug addicts and criminals and we need to stop treating them as such.
Third, since when do we consider ourselves above others?
As a person who lives paycheque to paycheque, I am thoroughly aware of the fact that should I lose my job, there’s a distinct possibility I could end up in the same place as the camp on Gladys.
The truly sad part is “those people” would be more than willing to include me in their group because I accept them for who they are.
I’m hardly one to judge how a person wound up living on the streets and off the charity of others, and I imagine it’s quite the humbling experience.
“Street people” often have the most fascinating stories regarding life. Because of their living arrangements, society refuses to acknowledge them as interesting people and that’s just shame on us as a human race.
My own father went from living on the streets of Vancouver to a highly successful and honourable man. Who’s to say that if we give “those people” a lift up, they aren’t capable of great things that could change the world?
We should be ashamed of ourselves in this city for our lack of compassion and love for one another. Life is hard – sometimes harder for some than others.
Shame on all city members who shun these people and look down on them because of who they are right now.
Odds are they are better people than you, with more humour, compassion, love and potential to be solid members of our community.
Elya White, Abbotsford