Diane Gaunt raises money for the Salvation Army Caring Place during the annual kettle campaign.

Not a fan of the Caring Place

Maple Ridge resident George Clarke blames the Salvation Army shelter for crime

Editor, The News:

Re: Kettle donations for Caring Place down (The News, Dec. 13).

It’s unfortunate that Salvation Army Kettle donations are down, but it is, nonetheless, understandable.

In Maple Ridge, there exists a general feeling of antipathy regarding the existence of the Caring Place.

There is absolutely no doubt that some of those availing themselves of the services available at the Caring Place are in genuine need of help.

However, as has been said many times before, there also exists a group of miscreants who take advantage of the presence of the Caring Place, using it as a base from which they fan out across our city to rob, steal, do drugs and commit other nefarious acts.

I’m tired of the petty crime, drug dealing and other illegal acts that stem from the people that hang around the Caring Place.  There is not a single person in our neighbourhood that hasn’t had something stolen from their property, or been obliged to chase a would-be thief from their premises.

While the Salvation Army itself is an admirable organization that is deserving of our highest admiration, I cannot say the same of the Caring Place.

While the operators of the Caring Place are possessed of the best intentions, they are being taken advantage of by some of their clients.

In conjunction with the RCMP, the operators should make their best efforts to weed out the criminals and send them packing.

By doing so, they would play a large part in lowering the crime rate in our fair municipality.

George Clarke

Maple Ridge

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