Finding solutions to homelessness can only begin with understanding

Homeless people may have chronic mental illness or medical problems such as brain injury or chronic, debilitating pain.

To the Editor,

Re: Welfare nanny state continues to expand, Letters, Sept. 27.

Two phrases stand out for me in the recent letters about homelessness. A cause of homelessness is attributed to “the breakdown of traditional family life.” Since I work with the disabled, I do learn of histories of alcoholic, abusive and neglectful parents who so traumatize young children that they cannot focus on learning in school, and get left behind from that point on.

The other phrase that stands out is “able-bodied men lounging about with no intent on seeking employment.”

Some people at around the 70 IQ range cannot follow simple orders on the job, although they look normal and even robust. I hear accounts of them trying and failing over and over again.

Other homeless people may have chronic mental illness or medical problems such as brain injury or chronic, debilitating pain.

Have a coffee at the 7-10 Club and get to know people who are struggling mightily, whether they are homeless or under-employed.

Madeline A. BruceNanaimo

 

To the Editor,

Re: Welfare nanny state continues to expand, Letters, Sept. 27.

I don’t know where to begin with the letter about the nanny state. Should we consider the letter writer’s condemnation of single mothers on welfare who are responsible for crime and drug addiction? Or should we ask what non-nanny states she would have us emulate? The United States, perhaps, where they have no crime, no addiction and no single mothers unable to support their families without help?

I believe Theodore Dalymple has written about his experience as a prison doctor in Britain focusing on the mentally ill and social determinism. I was surprised to see that apparently he does not specifically blame the welfare state or socialism for the problems of his prisoners. Apparently the ideas of the liberals and intellectuals have filtered down to the underclass allowing them to rationalize their actions and blame society in general. I apologize if I am wrong in my interpretation.

If the letter writer and Tom Fletcher look into the Social Progress Index and listings of quality of life they will find there is a high correlation between the ‘nanny states’ and countries with low crime and high levels of commitment to social consciousness and concern for all citizens.

Liz PardeyNanaimo