Editorial: Homeless youths can’t be left in the cold

It’s concerning that we find ourselves in a crisis situation with youth homelessness in Nanaimo.

We need our kids to come in from the cold.

It’s concerning that we find ourselves in a crisis situation with youth homelessness in Nanaimo, but there are positive indications that the right people are doing everything in their power to find solutions as quickly as possible.

Though our community is aware of the homelessness that exists here, there is probably a general lack of awareness about some of the realities that come along with that. We know there’s a problem, but it becomes a crisis when we think about it in terms of teenagers with no place to go on frigid December nights. Some of this week’s overnight lows are some of the coldest Nanaimo has had in recent memory.

The city’s lack of youth shelter beds was brought to council chambers last week and we think city councillors listened, heard, considered and acted in a timely fashion. There were recommendations and options and a budget figure on the table by the next meeting. Stop-gap solutions are being found to provide emergency shelter that’s safe and staffed.

Councillors showed they could co-operate in a crisis and not only were they concerned, but also frustrated that bureaucracy could cause even a single night’s delay in alleviating the problem.

What’s more, the response went beyond reactionary, as councillors asked that the city’s community vitality committee examine over the long term the issue of youth homelessness and a more permanent solution as far as cold-weather sheltering.

We share some of council’s frustration. The shelter beds can’t come soon enough. Nobody can be left outside when it’s this cold, not even for one night. Though kids are tougher than we sometimes give them credit for, in other ways, they are fragile. If they are in a situation where they are out in the cold, then that means however they got there, whatever the reasons, whoever is responsible, it’s fallen on us, as a community, province and country, to care for them and care about them.

Just Posted

Warrant issued for man who wielded machete across from Nanaimo’s tent city last year

William Robert Francis Carrigan failed to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo on Tuesday

Working smoke alarms found in fewer than one-third of residential fires in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Fire Rescue urges residents to install smoke alarms in homes

Nanaimo Ladysmith education support workers’ deal ratified

CUPE Local 606, Nanaimo school district and bargaining agent ratify deal, which runs till June 2022

VIU professor writes over Shakespeare in new book of poetry

In ‘Sonnet’s Shakespeare,’ Sonnet L’Abbé superimposes her own poems over the sonnets of the Bard

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Protest misleading pricing

Not all of us want or can afford to buy in multiples to get a lower price, says letter writer

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

City of Nanaimo says it’s ‘back on track’ with waste collection

Mechanical issues, new development stressing system

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

Retired B.C. fisherman wins record $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

Most Read