Letters: ‘Provide them with housing’

Not a week passes without complaints of some sort against the number of homeless people in and near downtown Maple Ridge.

Editor, The News:

Re: What happened in the Hat (The News, Aug. 7).

Not a week passes without complaints of some sort against the number of homeless people in and near downtown Maple Ridge and how it negatively affects people’s quality of life, business, safety, comfort.

Many people say they want their tax dollars put to good use by resolving that situation. Yet nobody seems to want to try what has actually worked elsewhere, a solution that is the most cost-effective way to put a real dent in the problem, not displacing it.

Provide these homeless people with housing.

Keep bringing them home when they go back on the street.

That is the cheapest option.

Medicine Hat did it successfully.

Housing one person costs about $20,000 a year.

Dealing with them on the street costs up to $100,000 a year, according to their math, and I doubt it would be any cheaper here.

Their current mayor was a vehement opponent of that idea when it was first offered and tried. Now he is an active proponent of what works.

Dogma has nothing to do, although from a public relations perspective it cannot hurt to treat homeless people in a humane way.

Economics has everything to do with it. It is the most affordable way, yet it yields the best results compared to the alternatives.

Jean-Baptiste Leveque

Maple Ridge


Cliff ‘crisis’

Editor, The News:

Re: Don’t feed the bears? (Letters, Aug. 5).

I have noticed a number of letters and articles recently concerning the Cliff Avenue crisis.

Many people comment on the problem and seem happy to parcel out blame and imply that the solution is simple.

I don’t think so.

If I understand the situation properly, there are many problems: people with mental issues, some with drug dependencies, others with a string of bad luck and, yes, some who just don’t want to be good citizens.

Evicting them all with no real alternative plan would not solve anything.

They are not bears who can go back to the forest if we stop feeding them.

It is also a bit much saying ‘go get a job’ when so many of us can’t find work ourselves.

The provincial government and the City of Maple Ridge, along with the other cities in the area must come up with something.

Facilities need to be provided for the ill, rehabilitation services for the addicted and maybe police involvement for some.

At the moment, there is too much buck-passing, politicking and blaming.

I don’t have the answers either, but am sure it is not as easy as some seem to think.

Paul Gregory

Maple Ridge




Editor, The News:

Re: Don’t feed the bears? (Letters, Aug. 5).

Whoa, I had to read Michael Patterson’s letter several times just to believe you would publish it.

Dehumanizing a group is a calculated step in tyranny and both Michael Patterson and Julia Garland are so blatant with their analogies they must had read the same propaganda book.

Tom Wallace

Maple Ridge


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