Our local governments and community groups have received over a million dollars in tax donations and grants in the name of “helping the homeless” over the past three years.
Yet more than half of those tax dollars actually never really got to the homeless, because of the almost $1.03 million received, only about half was spent on direct help, such as the $174,000 grant for Dawn to Dawn and the City of Courtenay’s $278,000 purchase of the Braidwood property for subsidized housing.
As for the rest, approximately a half-million dollars, it seems that money was used to fund studies, consultants, reports, forums and so on. I wonder if a better way to allocate quite scarce resources would be to provide the needy with something real, like, shelter, food or clothing.
Apparently the Comox Valley Housing Task Force headed by City of Courtenay councillor Leonard has played a leading and significant role in the requesting of the studies and reports.
Have the years of funding, studies and meetings benefited the Comox Valley’s vulnerable and needy? Perhaps, if there were an indication that their situation would be improved, but there doesn’t seem to be any improvement about to happen.
Now, there is news that Courtenay City council has approved spending more than $120,000 to remove more than 50 Maple Pool residents from their homes. Just the threat must cause them enormous emotional turmoil.
To me it is quite obvious that the regional district and Coun. Leonard’s housing task force has long ago demonstrated a substantial ineffectiveness in managing the delivery of meaningful results for our homeless problem.
I suggest that it is time for a change that will provide our community with the leadership needed to deliver real value to the homeless and vulnerable people who need our help the most.