Letters: Caring Place needs support

I am greatly discouraged by the news of council’s attempt to de-fund The Caring Place and the similar review of Alouette Heights.

Editor, The News:

Re: City wants Sally Ann out (The News, Aug. 26).

I am greatly discouraged by the news of council’s attempt to de-fund The Caring Place and the similar review of Alouette Heights.

Since the municipal election, hate and anger directed at people experiencing homelessness has dramatically increased. This has created growing tensions on social media, heightened fear and exacerbated the prejudices against The Caring Place and community members living on the street who are in great need.

Politicking aided in creating this public outcry, and now you give this portion of our community what they want – to rid this city of a compassionate organization you claim as the cause of homelessness-related problems.

Tens of thousands of dollars have been spent without consulting a single housing provider in Maple Ridge, the Community Network – of which I am a member – the Housing Table of the network, and without the input of most of our community’s service providers, even while we have sought to offer resources, help and input.

Additionally, decisions and money continue to be spent without the breadth of research required to make full sweeping changes in our service providers.

Despite the claim of transparency, we are left in the dark of your process and your decision making, and you are left in the dark to community collaboration and information from service providers who know our community – housed, sheltered and unsheltered – best.

Every compassionate comment has been countered with a ‘but all of Maple Ridge’s residents must be taken in consideration,’ which has always meant, ‘everyone but those experiencing homelessness.’

Your actions show us that you do not see homelessness as a problem for one experiencing it, but a problem for the greater community to get rid of and clean up.

As the pastor at Open Door Church, and a fully engaged member of this community from multiple perspectives, I implore you to seek additional solutions rather than attempting to de-fund current solutions before new operations, or even a greater community plan are in place.

Open Door is working to be part of the solution in our own long-term ways.

In the meantime, we will support, in every way possible, current solutions, people and organizations offering compassion and love to a rejected people in our community.

Clearly, The Caring Place needs additional community and city support, as the problem is so much greater than its capacity.

Rather than de-funding a service that cannot address the scope of the problem, start addressing our limited post-shelter, mental health and addiction resources, while continuing to add, not remove, more housing options (Housing First, transitional, temporary).

No, The Caring Place doesn’t work for Maple Ridge. It works for people in need – a voice and perspective drastically needed at the Maple Ridge council and resiliency initiative tables.

Bradley Christianson-Barker

pastor, Open Door Church

Maple Ridge


Just Posted

LETTER: In Maple Ridge, tents are not enough

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

Maple Ridge pair denied stay of extradition

Two facing charges in India from 2000

Maple Ridge returns to B.C. Supreme Court to address tent city safety

Order to better identify those living in the camp who do not have housing or shelter.

Girl, 6, lured from elementary school, sexually assaulted: Vancouver police

Police are seeking dashcam footage from nearby Sexsmith Elementary School in South Vancouver

Cram the Cruiser event this Thursday

Ridge Meadows RCMP raising donations for Friends in Need Food Bank

Ridge hospital foundation helps with mental health

Donates a possible $500k for youth wellness

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

B.C. Liberals call for outside audit of Speaker’s office, NDP refuses

Auditor General implicated in Darryl Plecas accusations of impropriety

Three victims of ex-ski coach Bertrand Charest suing Alpine Canada

The victims are also seeking $150,000 each in punitive damages

Trudeau names four new senators, filling every seat in the Senate

Trudeau has appointed 49 senators since becoming prime minister and will have the chance to appoint more in 2019

B.C. member of parliament takes feds to task on opioid crisis

‘Too many families are tragically losing parents, siblings and children to the opioid crisis.’

Heart attack raises questions about boarding BC Ferries in health emergencies

Quadra Island man recovering after being airlifted to hospital in Victoria

Judge gives Michael Cohen 3 years in prison

Judge William H. Pauley III said Cohen deserved a harsh punishment for crimes including tax evasion

Humboldt Broncos, cannabis, Fortnite: Here are Canadians’ top Google searches for 2018

When celebrities died or Canada Post went on strike, Canada turned to Google

Most Read