Letters: Pulling together

If we lose shelter we will have more deaths, an increase in health care costs, and an increase in ambulance costs

Editor, The News:

Re: ‘Caring for my community’ (Letters, Nov. 4).

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson actually states by prohibiting (or stopping) the homeless from sleeping in public places is a violation of the homelessness populations right under Section 7 of the Canadian Human Charter rights.

A huge step forward for the homeless.

The United Nations states everyone is entitled to housing. We need to have compassion and collaboration. We need to pull together and find ways of making things work for everyone.

If we lose shelter and transitional beds, we will have more deaths, an increase in health care costs, and an increase in ambulance costs.

Those who are homeless are less likely to access medical treatment because they have no general practitioner or access to transit to get to one because they are on $375 dollars a month. Therefore, their health deteriorates to a point that when they do access health care, their length of stay in hospital is extended.

Research states that those who are housed have a reduction in ER visits, drug use, and length of stay in hospital. You will have increased access to an ambulance because we will see a decline in drug use and overdoses.

For every $10 spent on homelessness, if we housed people, there is a $21 savings on health care costs, social services and the justice system.

Maple Ridge, let’s not be divided. Let’s stick together, be compassionate and show some understanding. This could be any of us one day – a workplace accident, a job loss. It does not take much to lose your home and not be able to find anywhere to live because of the huge hikes in rental costs.

What would you do? Where would you go if this happened to you?

Cathy Bennett

Maple Ridge


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