Former Maple Ridge councillor Mike Morden opposes modular homes on Royal Crescent. (THE NEWS/files) Former Maple Ridge councillor Mike Morden opposes modular homes on Royal Crescent. (THE NEWS/files)

Letter: ‘Way past this leper mentality’

We need to start somewhere, Maple Ridge.

Editor, The News:

Re: Letter: Lots of Land at Riverview.

Yvonne MacDonald, you seem to have a very simplistic view on remedies for our town’s homeless people.

You want addicts housed away ‘somewhere,’ and detoxed before welcoming them back into the community. Seems to me, in this day and age, we should be way past this leper mentality.

Not all homeless people are addicts and not all addicts want, or are ready for, detox.

If I’m not mistaken, there is no law that can force people into detox. And what about the homeless who suffer from mental illness who end up, time after time, in our prisons? Is prison really where they should be?

You say, use Riverview, rebuild it. But how long do you think that might take? One year? Two? Ten years?

In the meantime, we need to start somewhere, and if every option presented is nixed, we’ll still be in the same place we are now, next year and the years after.

You say: “Throwing up cheap housing, then leaving it for the citizens of the community to deal with the fallout – theft, needles and dirty condoms in our children’s playgrounds – is not the answer.”

Are we not already dealing with this type of fallout?

Of course citizens want to be safe, and I’ll venture a guess most of those who are homeless want the same thing – a safe place to live.

So let’s get those who want shelter into a safe place now, then keep on working on the many layers of this issue, because it is not going away and there is no simple fix.

Terri Marlow

Maple Ridge

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