Editor, The News:
Re: Protestors want tent city back (The News, April 15).
So the protestors want to have the B.C. Government buy the Quality Inn to house the remaining 30 former tent city residents.
How many taxpaying local people is this going to put out of work?
Everyone from the Quality Inn as well as the Pantry will be affected.
Not only do these workers pay income tax, but all sorts of taxes on the goods and services that they use.
In addition, these workers likely live in Maple Ridge and spend their money here with local merchants.
I also notice that most of the protestors quoted were not from Maple Ridge, but from Vancouver.
As a Maple Ridge resident of over 30 years standing, I object to our community being dictated to by non-residents.
A new tent city is not the answer to the serious problems that the homeless face.
Many, if not all of the homeless suffer from some sort of mental health or drug problem. Why can’t the B.C. Government find a piece of land (like one of the former correctional centre sites or the Riverview lands) and build a permanent detox and rehab centre?
There is likely enough land available to build transitional, supportive housing, as well.
Once the residents are stabilized in their mental health or drug issues, they can be supported while they integrate back into society.
We need better mental health care, not low-barrier shelters or tent cities.