I’ve been reading the heartbreaking series of articles in the Record about the lives of unhoused people in our community.
Their tents and other shelters are torn down, warm clothing and other items they need to survive are confiscated and destroyed, they’re kicked out of shelters in the early morning regardless of the weather, and a bylaw is about to be passed to prevent them from sheltering in parks and public spaces.
This is just plain cruelty, there’s no other word for it. And maybe it should be criminal, too.
What are these people supposed to do? Yes, a lot of unhoused people have mental health issues, drug issues and poverty issues, but they are human beings and they should be treated like human beings, even if they aren’t able to get jobs, rent apartments and live like most of us are fortunate enough to do.
Governments, both local and provincial, always claim there just isn’t enough money to provide more supportive housing, build more affordable housing, or even pay for upgrading buildings so that they can be used as shelters and warming centres. Yet throughout the years I’ve lived in the Comox Valley I’ve seen many millions of dollars spent on road and public building upgrades, beautification projects, sports fields, community events, and all kinds of things that are nice to have but not nearly as important as taking care of the most vulnerable people in our community.
Personally, I’d be quite happy to do without those things if it meant that all my fellow human beings had warm, safe places to live.
Everyone who lives in Canada should have a home. If they don’t, then we need to look into our hearts and ask ourselves what kind of people, and what kind of country, are we?