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Letter: Homeless should be in institutions outside city limits

There is no benefit to the homeless to be ouside an institution especially in winter

Homeless should be in institutions outside city limits

Although I live in North Cowichan, I was disheartened to learn of Duncan city council, against the wishes of residents, to use a vacant lot to house homeless people.

Nobody seems to admit that there will be more homeless arriving on Vancouver Island, and where will they go? Probably on the street! I recognize the need to treat these people, and also rejoice in the presence of dedicated professionals to achieve this end, but ideally this should be done in an institution, outside city limits.

When the great Pierre Elliott Trudeau spearheaded the removal of the laws governing loitering and vagrancy he could not have foreseen the eventual outcome 50 years later. His vision was to facilitate penniless students to see Canada, and some like myself did just that. Now, the quality of life, especially for seniors has been sharply reduced. For one thing, very few public washrooms left, harassment from homeless in many quarters, theft and so forth. In conclusion, there is no benefit to the homeless to be ouside an institution especially in winter.

This year I have personally witnessed, as a kind of caaptive audience, the homeless in action during the day. A lot them engage in meaningless, repetitive behaviour, swaying to and fro, vocalizing. A more active segment arrives on bikes, coming and going all the day. One young woman, her body bent sideways in what seems likes a terrifying rictus of pain, bikes in and tumbles over into a ravine. No one in the group loitering around appears to notice or care. After a few agonizing moments when she does not resurface, I rush over, intent on calling 911! At that point, her boyfriend arrives and assures me she will be alright! Really, as long as she is out on the street, she will never be alright.

Let us exercise tough love, build institions outside of city limits, and restore the quality of life we used to enjoy

Chuck Jamieson

Duncan

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