Pete Woodrow, with Anita Place Tent City, and Listen Chen with Alliance Against Displacement, issued new statement on decampment Thursday. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS)

LETTER: In Maple Ridge, tents are not enough

At the end of the day, there was shelter and food.

Editor, The News:

Re: Maybe a middle way for homelessness.

Phil Melnychuk’s “Notepad” article in your weekend paper has stayed with me. I am so grateful for it.

With insight and compassion, he described the daily life of many of those who are homeless.

Immediately, one could feel the despair, the struggle with weather, the loneliness and rejection. When Mr. Melnychuck referred to drug use as a means of getting through the daily grind of it, this totally made sense to me. I’ve often said that in similar shoes, I too might be a drug user.

During my life, I have at times spent many days walking, but usually there was company, and always at the end of the day there was shelter and food.

And the walking was a choice, and I was healthy. At 70-plus, I am still walking and healthy, and one reason for that is that I’ve never been homeless.

We are in desperate need of more subsidized and low-cost housing in Maple Ridge. All over the city of Vancouver, where I also often walk, temporary modular housing is being built.

This is happening in every sort of neighbourhood.

In Maple Ridge, our previous local government rejected outright three proposals for housing that would have given the sort of relief required to close Anita’s camp.

Now we have a partial solution in the recently opened modular model here. Perhaps this is the way to go.

For sure, something needs to be done to provide for those people who are homeless in our midst. Tents are not enough.

Linda King

Maple Ridge

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