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LETTER: Homeless deserve dignity and respect, too

Maple Ridge letter writer suggests choosing kindness over cruelty

Dear Editor,

A few days ago, I was crossing the Valley Fair Mall parking lot when I noticed what appeared to be a homeless man resting in the shade of a tree by 228th Street.

A man wearing a “SECURITY” jacket was standing over him, hands on hips, his stance very menacing.

As I passed, he yelled at the homeless man to “just get the hell out of here.”

Obviously our town has a major homeless problem.

It doesn’t help that the powers that be in Vancouver seem to see outlying communities as dumping grounds for those who embarrass them.

RECENT LETTER: Maple Ridge child encourages people to take action against climate change

We’ve elected mayor after mayor based on the platform that they would “fix it.”

But, so far, the issue has only escalated.

Yes, I’ve seen them doing drugs in my local park, watched them case my neighbourhood in the middle of the day when most people aren’t home, even had one pop out of the bushes in his underwear and ask for a cigarette.

It’s not pretty and no one enjoys it.

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But a person’s lack of status in society does not give any of us licence to treat them like garbage.

Your job as a security guard, in fact, should make you more aware of your power to choose kindness over cruelty. If the man committed a crime, call the police – otherwise, do not harrass people just because you don’t like the way they look.

The management of Valley Fair Mall should give their security employees a course in compassion and ethics, because at least one of them would benefit from it.

People are watching.

Catherine Schreiber, Maple Ridge


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