Make sure Maple Ridge youth safe first

Since the closure of a “temporary” housing for children, we haven’t a clue where some of them are trying to sleep

Editor, The News:

Re: PR money for homeless (The News, July 8).

“Part of the solution to the homelessness issue could be in opening a temporary shelter … ”

Brilliant.

As if these ideas and obstacles and who’s to blame is a new conversation.

And all this mention of people being “at the table” – what table?  Who are these folks talking to and with?

Are children and youth on this table’s agenda in any capacity?

At least Maple Ridge knows where most of the adult street citizens are laying their heads at night.

Since the closure of a “temporary” housing resource for our children, we haven’t a clue where some of them are trying to sleep.

But let’s just do a re-hire of community outreach workers. These great souls used to share office space at Iron Horse Youth Safe House,  now known as Iron Horse Youth Day Services, until they had to move on when their positions were slowly cut to so few hours it wasn’t even full-time employment anymore.

Then no money is to be had, at any lev   el of government, to keep the youth safe house open, although local money was found for the re-hire of the new Community Outreach Workers, and a PR/media strategy.

I get some of that. And some of it, I truly don’t. But what I seriously find stunningly remorseful is the government’s continued inability, on any level, to address children and youth homelessness.

In all of this, one thing is certain – and that is that those children and youth with unstable housing situations will turn 19 one day. While they are under 19, it may be best that we get them safe first, foremost and finally, with federal, provincial and municipal money, actual programs, and an actual strategic B.C. housing plan – not utilizing kind-hearted Maple Ridge citizens sorting out fundraising ideas in order to raise money to take care of our children.

L. Hamilton

Maple Ridge

 

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