To the Editor,
Re: Housing discussion needs to be reframed, Guest Comment, April 19.
A rose by any other name, or untreated addicts, still smells the same.
I note that Jim Spinelli and Anne Spilker both live in the Sixth Street area of Harewood, an area that is seeing a revitalization. Perhaps that’s another reason for pushing the homeless out of this area.
We have city council wanting a clean downtown for their precious conference centre, and, of course, the new cruise ship trade.
Heaven forbid that we should have homeless downtown. It’s much better to take those untreated addicts and illnesses, put them within two blocks of an elementary school, and across the street from an alcohol outlet.
This should keep them out of the downtown and nowhere near the 7-10 Club or any other agency that would be available to help them.
So now they will walk downtown to panhandle for their fix. Of course, the working girls will start to ply their trade more along Bowen Road and use the park as their parking place.
It’s bad enough that 12 years ago my children were finding used condoms and needles there. Now others can go and make complete collections of them.
So, yes, let’s reframe it all. Let’s take the stigma away from being homeless, but let’s call the largest percentage of these people what they really are – possibly dangerous to the residents and definitely detrimental to the area.
I wish this debate had started before the city gave its consent. No one ever came to my door on Bush Street to ask how I felt. No one ever invited us to discuss it.
I don’t consider those rezoning notices in the paper an actual invitation. Who can read them except a city planner or developer?
Overall, I’m appalled the city is taking this step.