Editor, The News:
If you haven’t heard the news surrounding the homelessness crisis in Maple Ridge, then you haven’t seen a newspaper from the city in years. Here, the sense of brotherhood has been lost. We come home from work, lock our doors, watch TV, go to sleep and then wake up and do it all again. The need for community has been abandoned, and we are concerned only for ourselves.
Is it not morally ethical to care for the poor, for those who are down-and-out, depressed, mentally ill, physically addicted, and to top it off, ostracized and criticized by their very neighbours? We talk and think about our homeless persons as “them”. And in doing so, we make a separation. If there is a “them,” there must be an “us.”
And if we can be honest with ourselves, (and I feel our city’s leader, Mayor Nicole Read would agree with this statement) we see “them” not as people, but as tax dollars.
What is our interest in the future of our town, in the lives of our children’s future, our friends and our family, our neighbours and fellow Canadians, and simply for our fellow human beings?
Our purpose cannot be aimed towards personal wealth and excess. I feel pity for, and am ashamed for anyone whose pursuit of excess causes them to hate people. We outcast those who struggle every day with addiction, hunger, mental disease, and desertion itself. All because they hinder our pursuit of happiness, which evidently depends on our personal wealth.
Until we can change this, I hate to say it fellow Maple Ridgeions, “The poor will always be among you.”