Letters: ‘Send them somewhere else’

Letter writers dismayed over new proposed site for homeless shelter in Maple Ridge.

Editor, The News:

Re: New shelter site ‘not perfect’ (The News, Aug. 12).

I am dismayed at the new choice of location as it puts the shelter even closer to my home than the Quality Inn site.

This guarantees that crime in the form of property theft will skyrocket in my neighbourhood.

The current level of break-ins is already too much.  Please don’t cause it to double or triple by placing a crime-base camp near my part of town.

While I am sympathetic to those less fortunate who have fallen on hard times, these people make up the minority of these groups. Many choose this lifestyle and are addicts. In order to support their addiction, they must steal thousands upon thousands of dollars of other people’s property. They fan out on bicycles from their ‘patrol base,’ at whatever shelter or camp they occupy, and steal everything they can lay their hands on.

I, for one, will not stand for it. I don’t want them near my home and my children. Send them somewhere else.

David Vernon

Maple Ridge


‘Stop this’

Editor, The News:

Re: New shelter site ‘not perfect’ (The News, Aug. 12).

Proposed Homeless Shelter in Maple Ridge

This mayor and council continue to do things without the consent of the citizens of this community!

I also live very close to this location and worry about the risks involved in having a low-barrier shelter in Maple Ridge. I have two teenagers who are at vulnerable and impressionable ages. On our little street, of 11 houses, there are nine children who would now be exposed to the lifestyle choices of drug addicts, alcoholics and prostitutes.

Tell me, mayor, would you want this for your children, friend’s children or relatives? Would you want this in your backyard? Do you realize that there will be increased vandalism, crime and litter (needles and drug paraphernalia) in our beautiful cemetery and in surrounding neighbourhoods?

How will those who go to honour their deceased loved ones feel when they confronted by someone strung out on drugs?

Do you even care about the citizens of Maple Ridge and what they want? Would you feel safe and secure in your neighbourhood?

This town is not big enough to support the amount of resources that these people need. We are a small community and we just can’t let this keep happening.

When the city says it has purchased land, that means it has used our tax dollars, and I do not want my tax dollars used for homeless shelters, especially low-barrier.

This ludicrous idea will cause increased vandalism, theft and a feeling of insecurity for local residents.

And what about the daycare that is situated right next door? Who would want to put their kids in that centre?

This will also cause all of our properties to devalue. The residents of Maple Ridge have to stick together to stop this from happening.

Denise Chandler

Maple Ridge


‘Sad day’

Editor, The News:

Re: New shelter site ‘not perfect’ (The News, Aug. 12).

My home, which, of course, is in a residential area, is a 30-second ride on a stolen bike away from the land proposed to house a new shelter.

Also in my residential area are a number of schools, businesses, a daycare, preschools, a recovery house for women beating addiction, a hospital, a hospice, a seniors townhouse complex and playgrounds.

Does that sound like an appropriate area to place a shelter?

It will be a sad day when I have to tell my young kids that we can no longer walk to school, ride our bikes around the neighborhood or walk to 7-11 for a treat because our neighborhood is no longer safe. Drive by the current shelter day or night and it looks like the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver.

The drug problem in Maple Ridge is already running rampant, so much so that  we had to educate our kindergartner about certain drug paraphernalia that we found on his school grounds so he would know to tell an adult if he ran across it again. I can only imagine how much worse this problem will become if we continue to attract druggies and drug dealers to our streets by building them a new playground.

These ‘hard to house’ people are preying on the legitimately homeless people of Maple Ridge. We need to stop enabling the illegal drug trade in Maple Ridge.  Give your head a shake,  Mayor Nicole Read.

Darn bloody right, not in my back yard. My kids deserve better.

Katie McElgunn Jonas

Maple Ridge