[Re: Critical of Liberal candidates comments on supportive housing, Oct. 18 letter, The News]
I have a good track record in various Black Press community papers of supporting left of centre social and environmental issues.
But, I draw the line at aspects of social housing when they are sources of blight to the surrounding businesses and residential properties.
The people who are put into these facilities end up ruining it for themselves, as when push comes to shove I will always side with those who followed the rules and through no fault of their own find their property values and sense of security trashed by the push of the provincial government to put in social housing with no sense of duty of care to those who are affected.
The old adage about one rotten apple spoiling an entire barrel of good apples is just as relevant when people talk about social housing.
It doesn’t mean squat if they are made to follow the rules while inside these facilities as they just go a block away and continue on with their anti-social behaviours.
Until the government stops lumping all the homeless into one category, then the problem will never be controlled.
And some of it will never be solved and that is the sad reality that society must face without radical changes to the economy.
If those who want social housing start demanding that addicts are put into mandatory treatment facilities, then I might listen to them.
And no, I don’t care if the experts who helped get us into this mess say that such facilities don’t work. They work when they get the addicts off the streets into high-barrier facilities and away from the pushers who feed on them and stop the addicts pushing up crime rates and making neighbourhoods less secure.
If we don’t reverse the failure of putting the mentally ill onto the streets, and provide long-term care facilities such as updated and more humane facilities like Riverview, then the mentally ill will continue to be victims of the addicts and their own mental issues.
Even if that means lifelong care.
Families can’t cope and neither can communities. Simply housing them is not the answer.
As for those who are homeless because of lack of work, education, skills, or divorce, society is going to be swamped as that segment is only going to grow.
Are we willing to abandon predatory capitalism, the trickle-down economy, the low-pay, part-time economy where workers have no future?
What happens when, by 2025, when fully half of jobs will be done by automation rending people obsolete?
Lastly, the writer that rebuked the Liberal candidate for her comment about social housing loses credibility when she touts the Salvation Army.
I am not a Liberal supporter, nor am I a backer of the NDP – despite giving them high marks for how they handled the ongoing pandemic health crisis. But I will never support the Salvation Army.
Robert Rock, Mission
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