Be bold to solve homeless problem
Here again the do-gooders of the Valley continue to vacillate, accommodating the multi-headed hydra of so-called “homelessness”.
There is neither doubt nor argument, that single parents with children — who are actually homeless — should be accommodated using tax dollars. And this should be done posthaste and not with the usual finger-pointing twixt levels of authority.
Municipal governments of the Valley: BE BOLD! Fund this unquestionably needed housing immediately and then go to your senior governments and demand their financial support. Do not stint on either the amount needed to provide the housing needed for single parents with children nor on the demand made of higher sources for the expended funding. They will not refuse. Nor will the neighbourhoods in which such projects are located object.
At the same time as addressing the latter, truly needy, head of the homelessness hydra, governments of the Valley should order resolute action by policing and bylaw functions to apprehend, charge and deal with the other heads of the “hydra” who are flouting the law. To do otherwise is to reward criminality rather than provide appropriate consequences. To do otherwise is to ensure that these other “heads” of the hydra will continue to flout our laws and despoil our communities. To do otherwise is to ignore the issues facing the residents and other citizens whose lives have been turned upside down.
One remedial action would be to co-opt the empty Rona building and outfit it as a homeless shelter and offer it on a temporary basis to the other “heads of the hydra” in exchange for providing basic community services that currently go begging. Those that do not accept and/or violate the conditions requisite for housing in the dwelling should be processed under the law to its fullest extent.
It matters not that some require “addictions counselling, mental heath treatment, life skills coaching and other necessary services”. The notion that the latter folk should be permitted to carry on their lives in a manner ruining the lives of those in our communities who currently have them squatting is unacceptable. All the fine words of Mayor Siebring and other elected officers are mere puffery. Do something! Take meaningful action! Rout the undesireables! Offer temporary support to those willing to work for it! Most importantly, and without delay, provide housing and related support for single parents with children!
These remedies may not reflect prevailing social strategies, which focus on what used to be referred to as “coddling”, but would address the concerns of citizens and residents whose right to some degree of normalcy in their lives is now under attack.
It is time to act — not puff.
PS: Forget the old saw that the union would object. CUPE has a proud history of thinking outside the box and accepting such measures as reflecting its members’ own interests in a healthy community — not to mention in the long run remedying many of their members’ concerns with their current work conditions.
Pat and Susan Mulcahy