Compassion needs to lead the way
Compassion is the concern for the suffering of others. The citizens of our valley are compassionate. Of that there is no doubt. We feel compassion when we see people who are cold, wet, homeless, addicted to drugs, sick and hungry. We feel compassion for people who own businesses and homes, who are afraid to walk down their streets at night, who are afraid to use parks meant for children and families, who avoid downtown businesses, and who have to guard the streets and public washrooms.
So, what can we do? I believe there are organizations who already have shown they have what it takes to meet the basic needs of food and shelter for those willing to accept it. The Salvation Army is one. I’m sure there are secular ones as well. What they lack is the means. Our local government cannot be asked to shoulder this burden. Can we not look towards our provincial and federal governments to work hand in glove with those groups who’ve already proven themselves? Let us join together and listen to the needs of all stakeholders in this matter. Let us create a plan that accesses the many strengths of our community, and let’s create the safe community we all long for.
Finally, I must ask that we have the backs of those heroes doing the thankless work of dealing with the criminals in our community who prey on the poor, who supply the drugs, and who have a vested interest in keeping people desperate. Next time you pass an RCMP member, thank them for their service.