Letters: ‘Our home away from home’

I’ve been serving at The Pantry for over 17 years now and it’s our home away from home for us.

Editor, The News:

I’ve been serving at The Pantry for over 17 years now, with a lot of love and care, and it’s our home away from home for us.

In all honesty, with the government setting its sights on our work property, to transform it into a low barrier supportive housing, is hurtful, very sad and disrespectful to us.

It is also scary, unsafe and disgusting- and very untrustworthy of our council to even consider such an option, and put the hard working, respectful members of your community at risk like this.

How could you live with yourself, if this proposed offer goes through, knowing that your community is not on board with it and or even the slightest bit comfortable with this.

How would you feel if they lived in your back yard?

We all want what is best here and the same thing in the end, but we have to go about this with utmost care, respect for each other and responsibility.

We are all equal citizens here and it’s seeming as though these homeless people take priority over us who contribute constructively to society, serving our community.

Our Pantry and hotel are interdependent upon each other for business and have been working together since Day 1 almost 35 years ago. It’s just so wrong that you would allow such a potential threat to infect our place of work and our community.

Please do your best to find a better temporary solution, even if it’s just putting portables together in a field to house these people for now until a proper contained facility (community integration center), with all the support services there, appropriate treatment, detox, counselling, short-term and long-term supportive housing is built, away from the city.

These people need their own contained community with the right resources available to them so they can be integrated back into the community constructively, when they’re ready.

This is becoming an epidemic in North America and it is time to provide the right treatment services facilities and supportive housing responsibly and respectfully, all in a contained, secluded area.

Healthy boundaries and restrictions have to be established for these people, for many reasons that are obvious because this current method of dealing with them is not working.

If our Quality Inn motel is ever used for such support services, it has to be regulated and only part of it be available to house families who are in need of support, and still kept as the Quality Inn. Just reserve some rooms off for support to families in need.

And absolutely no drug use on site, with regulated testing, and if caught with drugs in their system them they’re out.

We can’t keep enabling this, and we have establish healthy boundaries, and to put our money towards a more productive and proactive solution.

Keara Baggio

Maple Ridge

 

‘Great area’

Editor, The News:

I was just wondering if you happen to know or if it was even mentioned about the old women’s jail section of land out off 285th Street.

If it still owned by the government, or even if it’s not, this would be a great area to build a facility and home these people, if we must do so.

Its almost terrible to think what’s going to happen to the Home Restaurant and The Pantry.

Rick Long

Maple Ridge