The Caring Place bearing blame for all others

Don't just blame the Sally Ann, lots of services in central Maple Ridge

Editor, The News:

Re: Time for Sally Ann to find a new home (Letters, Oct. 10).

Within a one block radius, the following agencies are located: Haney Public House and liquor store, the One Way Club, Maple Ridge Treatment Centre and the Salvation Army’s Caring Place.

The One Way Club deals with addicts in addiction recovery. The Maple Ridge Treatment Centre runs programs that deals with addictions.

I find it interesting that the Caring Place regularly becomes the scapegoat for Haney’s social problems.

Following the same logic we should blame the Maple Ridge hospital for all the sick people and diseases in this town.

The dictionary definition of scapegoat: a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place.

What would you rather have: a desperate man who lives in the bushes and uses drugs, but also eats at the Caring Place; or a desperate man who lives in the bushes, uses drugs and is desperately hungry?

I think the latter is the worst combination you can have.

Scapegoat logic is similar to bullying logic. Those who are angry place their anger on the host person or entire group. The group or person then becomes the scapegoat for that person’s ill will.

Scapegoat logic is also used in racism, when one group blames the other for social problems, like lack of work or a poor economy.

Scapegoating is alive and well in Maple Ridge today.

The theory is: Maple Ridge will return to its utopian roots after we send the bad Caring Place away.

Why is there no talk about the other social agencies located in this city?

The treatment centres in Maple Ridge should be more accountable as to who they are treating.

Are all of their clients from Maple Ridge?

Where do they go after treatment fails?

Are they supplying transportation to those who drop out or are kicked out their programs?

After all, recovery is a business.

Why is there a liquor store and public house so close to these social agencies?

The Caring Place is a non-profit agency, mainly run by volunteers from our community.

The Caring Place helps homeless drug addicts, but that is only a fraction of what it does.

I would like to add the RCMP and city council to the accountability list, as well.

What are the RCMP doing to lower crime in your neighborhood?

Where do prisoners go when they are released? Maple Ridge is home two prisons.

If you want Maple Ridge to change, then I suggest you start volunteering instead to complaining.

The RCMP need volunteers for their programs too. This community was not built by whiners, but workers.

Ken McGonigal

Maple Ridge


Location at core

Editor, The News:

Re: Time For Action (Letters Nov. 2).

The core issue here really is the location.

I also, sadly, recognize the need for the Caring Place, but remain opposed to its location, and not only for the established residential area.

There is so much available potential to create a  cohesive, economically viable downtown core.

A rustic train station and historic pub, shuttle buses, new bus loop, a green downtown, eclectic storefronts, great merchants, new condos, river views, farmer’s market, art gallery, talented musicians – imagine if an international hostel, for example, was positioned where the Caring Place currently resides.

Our municipal government needs to communicate to the provincial level, to seek, as Sandy Macdougall said, “a long term solution to our social problems” – or step down and let someone who will.

Hopefully, come election time, potential candidates will be willing to address the tough issues.

We need a socially responsible local government.

The days of passing the buck and making a buck are so over.

D. Ferguson

Maple Ridge