What did tour of out-of-town homeless shelters accomplish?

Dear editor,
On July 7, 30 elected officials, downtown merchants, Chamber of Commerce members, charity and non-profit members visited two homeless and transitional housing projects in Nanaimo and Duncan.

Dear editor,

On July 7, 30 elected officials, downtown merchants, Chamber of Commerce members, charity and non-profit members visited two homeless and transitional housing projects in Nanaimo and Duncan.

Did they actually learn something from this trip more than that it was a good photo op? I wonder how knowledgeable, informed and experienced are those that are spending the taxpayers’ dollars and leading out in the building of a shelter?

Since there is a thrust to have a shelter, let’s have one set up so that it makes a difference. Make sure that what we get will be better than what we have now.

It appears it was another example of how our local representatives do things backwards. This fact-finding journey of discovery should have come before the land was purchased for a proposed homeless shelter. Get all of your ducks in a row first.

Our provincial government has produced several in-depth studies on the causes and effects of homelessness in B.C. with titles such as: The Relationship between Homelessness and the Health, Social Services and Criminal Justice Systems; The Costs of Homelessness; A Profile, Policy Review and Analysis of Homelessness.

These and other studies and experiences from providers of shelters show that about 70 per cent of homelessness is due to drug addiction and mental illness. Drug addicts tend to support their habits with property crime.

Perhaps City Hall employees won’t mind their cars being broken into. If you want to reduce homelessness then prove that you have found effective methods to deal with drug addiction and mental illness.

Other factors include availability and affordability of housing, the local unemployment rate, the ability of individuals to either have gainful employment or other means of income or financial means and the individual’s attitudes as to being a responsible tenant. Homeless shelters don’t necessarily have to be built close to support services that many of the residents may need.

Successful examples show that required professional services can be provided in house or on premises. Also, there are means of transportation such as the bus, using a bicycle, walking, sharing a ride or volunteers driving them.

The reasons to support the purchase of property near City Hall on Cliffe Avenue are not necessarily good or strong ones. Given the flawed process that has taken place so far and the $400,000+ price tag for what seems to be a small piece of property in a location that is opposed by many, I suggest that we should start over from scratch and do it right this time.

Those in charge and involved, do your homework first, get trained and informed so that you know what you are doing.

Ed Zirkwitz,

Courtenay

Just Posted

UPDATE: Elderly man dead following Union Bay collision

The collision happened around 12:50 p.m. on Sunday

Too Good to be Threw thrift store damaged in late night fire

All store profits were used to support Comox Valley Transition society programs

WATCH: Teams gather in Comox for VEX competition

More than 40 teams across Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland gathered… Continue reading

Dementia village planned for former Comox hospital

Providence Health takes ownership of St. Joseph’s April 1

Vehicle crashes into ground floor of Comox retirement building Saturday

A driver narrowly avoided injury to herself or others as her vehicle… Continue reading

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Comox Valley libraries have plenty to offer during Family Literacy Week

Colleen Nelson Special to The Record Do you have a young reader… Continue reading

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Support pours in for Vancouver Island couple whose home was destroyed by massive blaze

GoFundMe page reached $10,000 in one day for soon-to-be parents

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

Most Read