Editor, The News:
Let me start by saying that I am deeply appreciative of everything that the city council and its partners have done to address the issue of homelessness in Maple Ridge and its efforts to move the former Cliff Avenue camp residents into the new shelter.
While I have a number of doubts with regard to the sustainability of this particular model and its potential for serving as a long-term solution, it is, at least, a step in a better direction.
I live close to the Cliff Avenue neighbourhood, and I appreciate that the camp has been dismantled. However, I think it is important to point out that the fact that the camp is gone should not fool Maple Ridge residents into thinking that all of its homeless have been re-homed in the new shelter.
I can attest to the fact that there are homeless people living on property owned by CP Rail along the stretch of River Road where I live, including in a wooded area next to my property.
For the most part, they stay out of sight, which is understandably why council and members of the general public might think they aren’t there.
They are, and there is a lot of evidence around to confirm that, including stolen shopping carts, discarded clothing, suitcases and other personal items and, worse, opened condoms and hypodermic needles.
I would be happy to give council members a personal tour.