Letters: ‘Greatest north of Fraser’

I spoke on how the city of Portland dealt with the same issue we face today, and that was in the ’80s.

Editor, The News:

Re: Businesses oppose shelter (The News, Aug. 19).

Last year, I suggested the city look at all the vacant warehouses in the area.

I spoke on how the city of Portland dealt with the same issue we face today, and that was in the ’80s.

It seems like this city council is determined to create a shelter where obviously the businesses and residents don’t want it.

Why does this shelter have to be near the downtown core and or in an area that impacts the people that live and or work there?

Vacant warehouses are already here. They have plumbing, electricity and heating, so the basic infrastructure is already in place.

A small fraction of the $15 million promised for a new facility can go a long way to framing in private rooms –  50, 60, or 150, if needed.

Community  kitchens and bathrooms were also installed, while three meals were served a day.

There was  24-hour security, and medical services on hand, and local social services, treatment counselors and legal advocates were scheduled weekly and available. Most were certified in the field and volunteered, too

Two shuttle buses were donated that ran from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.

One bus was for transporting people who had to attend treatment or medical appointments, and the other took those who signed up to various locations around the town to do community service: pick up garbage in parks and school yards, such as needles and condoms. They also did chores for private businesses. Some people even ended up getting jobs with some private businesses.

If these people are able to ride a bike and pick up recyclables, then they are capable of helping clean up the dangerous waste left throughout our town as a small token of payback.

This sort of intervention gave individuals a purpose again and got them back into a routine.

There were rules set in place as far as drug and alcohol use in or around the shelter, which were enforced.

Those who broke those rules were asked to leave. Those who chose to break the rules were treated as vagrants and were treated as such by law enforcement.

There have been enough meetings and petitions.

Enabling drug addiction as we do now by not having any consequences for there actions and or responsibilities  does not help – especially the homeless who really don’t want to be there.

It’s time for this city council to make firm and quick decisions without impacting the citizens of the greatest little town north of the Fraser River: Maple Ridge.

R.J. Resek

Maple Ridge

 

‘As you are’

Editor, The News:

Re: Businesses oppose shelter (The News, Aug. 19).

Here we go again. The public said no to the Quality Inn site and council, in all its wisdom, moves the new location down a block and thinks this will be a good fit?

Let’s be clear: this is a low-barrier shelter, which basically means come as you are and stay as you are.

I, for one, am so tired of hearing our mayor preach acceptance and tolerance for the new shelter. Perhaps she should lead by example and move the shelter to her neighbourhood.

Let’s not even get started on the shelter having to be close to services. What exactly are these services, closer access to their dealers and a clearer path to steal from the surrounding homes?

We don’t want this anywhere in Maple Ridge.

Tannice Paeker

Maple Ridge

 

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