To the Editor,
Re: People must be included in society, Letters, Oct. 11.
Concerning the letters to the editor and actions being taken by citizens in the north end of Nanaimo who are rejecting the plan for supportive housing in their area, I want to get some hard facts out there.
There are unsupported opinions and fear-mongering flying around fast and loose.
Historically, one minority group of people has often been scapegoated and reviled by large numbers of people who believe vehemently that they are right.
I spoke today with Nanaimo RCMP Insp. Al O’Donnell and got educated about what really goes on in our not-so-mean streets.
Most interestingly, he told me that a 70-year-old woman fell down on a Nanaimo street Friday morning and could not get up.
She lay there for half an hour, as many cars went by. Finally she was assisted by a homeless man.
The RCMP have never had a complaint about addicts bothering either children or seniors.
There are shelters in place throughout the city for homeless people to stay temporarily. The RCMP does not get complaints from the neighbours. They are situated near schools and seniors facilities.
As for the fear that drug dealers would appear at north end supportive housing, I was told that addicts and dealers go where they will not appear conspicuous, which would be the downtown area, and yes, addicts would take the bus to get there.
As for the fear of break-ins, addicts tend to commit crimes of opportunity, so if a purse is left out on the front seat of a car, it might disappear.
Also, there is alcoholism, with its accompanying domestic violence, infidelity, and family breakdown, and drug addiction going on in some north Nanaimo houses at all times.