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LETTER: We need to enforce the laws

If we truly want the homeless to take down their tents and get off the streets ...

Moving the problem is not solving the problem!

If we truly want the homeless to take down their tents and get off the streets, then we need to fix what is wrong rather than just move them.

Would it not be wiser to treat each person as an individual and provide for their individual needs rather than sending them to a “village” like the one proposed on Valley Road where existing problems will simply breed further problems?

Some of these people have mental health issues. Offer them the help they need so they can live their lives with dignity and not in what will quickly become a slum beside the dump.

Some of them have drug addictions. Providing them a place to do those drugs in peace will not help them have a dignified life.

A statement made about “what people do in the privacy of their own dwelling…” is simply ridiculous. It is against the law, it is dangerous for them and others around them, and it costs the taxpayers a huge amount of money when ambulances, police, hospitals, the legal system, and social services have to deal with the resulting overdoses or acts of violence.

Help the individuals who are willing to take the help offered to make them well. Help them find a place to live in dignity – not in a commune with others who choose to continue these illegal activities.

We’ve all be very careful to use the term “homeless” but in a recent letter to the editor the term “vagrant” was used and correctly so. The legal definition of “vagrancy” is "a criminal offence of being intentionally unemployed and thereby neglecting to maintain themselves or their family."

Many of the people we are talking about are vagrants. They choose to live by begging, stealing, or prostituting themselves – all illegal activities, not to mention the drug and alcohol problems that exist.

We need to clamp down and enforce the laws in these cases. We cannot tolerate this kind of activity in our city any longer!

C. Major