To the editor,
I have seen that area where homeless people would congregate and I have seen RCMP in the morning moving homeless people out of their evening spot elsewhere in the city. I have seen the newly fenced-off area. And I have heard that some members of council, including the mayor, do not think that homelessness is the responsibility of the city.
I have also seen the incredible rise in the cost of housing in Nanaimo over the past while.
People who end up being homeless are first and foremost people, people who are residents of the municipality where they reside, even if where they reside does not have an address. People who are homeless face incredible challenges, with being able to access affordable, safe and secure housing being one of their challenges. Nanaimo needs to begin to respond to people who are homeless with compassion and respect, and the city needs to work with others to aggressively obtain and provide housing options for people that will begin to address this issue.
Treating marginalized people in a manner that makes them be even more marginal is cruel and a very sad commentary on our civic leaders.
David Lemire, Nanaimo
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