Local letter writer said fundraiser might help change social perception about people who are homeless. (Black Press Media file photo)

Local letter writer said fundraiser might help change social perception about people who are homeless. (Black Press Media file photo)

LETTER: What if society held a telethon to help homeless

Pitt Meadows resident lauds Variety Club for telethon. Would the fundraiser work for other causes?

Dear Editor,

I was really happy to see that the Variety Club Kid’s Telethon raised over $6,000,000,00 for children in B.C. with special needs. Wow, I thought, times are tough but still people in B.C. had over $6,000,000 dollars, collectively, to donate to a great cause. It gave me the warm and cuddlies.

Then I thought… imagine if we cared that much about the homeless.

We could have a telethon. Instead of interviewing children and their families we could interview some human beings who have become homeless. Maybe that could foster a better understanding and less judgment from society about human beings that have lost the ability to pay rent.

• Homeless counted in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

People living on the street were children once, too, and statistically speaking most of them have suffered abuse and neglect in their childhoods. Abuse that has left them disabled emotionally and spiritually, if not physically. But there is no Variety club to speak for them.

What if we raised $6,000,000 one weekend for the homeless? I guess some would say it would be a waste of money, but I disagree. A recent study out of UBC showed that when people without housing were given $5,000 with no strings attached, I believe it was less than 20 per cent that used the money for drugs or alcohol. The large majority used it to secure housing and pay bills. They used it constructively and were able to take a new step forward.

To me the only difference is our perception and our priorities.

Lynn Blatta, Pitt Meadows

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