We’ll all be better off when people experiencing homelessness have a place they can honestly call home, says letter writer. File photo

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: People experiencing homelessness unlucky

Poverty, illness and marginalization don’t equate to decrepitude, says letter writer

To the editor,

Re: Nanaimo has soured from what it once was, Letters, July 9.

Contrary to the letter writer, I’m a brand-new resident. Comparing Kelowna, the last place I lived, to this city, I’ve noticed, as she has, an uncomfortable number of homeless people, as well as the material evidence they leave behind: shopping carts, possessions, tents, garbage and so on.

The letter writer historicizes that it wasn’t always this way. Nanaimo was once a “hidden gem,” safe, secure, and “with a sense of virtue.” She turns her eye back to the “culprits,” who are not just guilty of wrecking this moral paradise, but are “obnoxious, self-entitled,” careless and shameless vandals and petty thieves.

Another analysis is of course possible. I see those who congregate in certain areas of the downtown as the unlucky, and those who huddle all alone as even worse off. Economically forsaken and socially challenged, surely some of them also have mental health issues, commonly found in this population. This is the look of poverty, illness, marginalization, and scrappy survival, not moral decrepitude.

I understand Nanaimo subscribes to the philosophy of ‘housing first,’ a client-centred and recovery-oriented approach to ending homelessness. The 80 units of temporary supportive housing that were put in as a short-term solution next to my apartment building will soon be replaced by permanent housing, again, right beside me. We’ll all be better off when these folks have a place they can honestly call home.

Dianne Varga, Nanaimo

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Nanaimo has soured from what it once was

To the editor,

Re: Nanaimo has soured from what it once was, Letters, July 9.

We read and hear about the dismay that the sight of homeless people and drug addicts is causing some people in Nanaimo.

Society has changed radically over the past few decades. We see the changes on our streets, but the locus of these changes is hidden behind ivory towers.

It is now known that three billionaires own half of all the wealth in the U.S.A. In Canada more than $350 trillion is hidden in tax-free offshore accounts. Those figures mean that social services and low-cost housing are squeezed out. The top wealthiest layer do not care about that.

Timely drug treatment and rehab are desperately needed. Nanaimo and surrounding areas are in dire need of psychiatrists. There is a very high incidence of childhood trauma among drug addicts that has never been addressed.

So much is hidden underneath the sad sight of the homeless person. They are the scapegoats of this society that is being strangled at the top by the wealthiest layer.

When you see some poor soul on the street, look beyond him or her and look to the causes squarely, at the top.

Madeline A. Bruce, Nanaimo


The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

Just Posted

Japanese student visit program looking for host families

Families in Nanaimo-Ladysmith being asked to help out with Dec. 6-9 home stay

Eden Gardens’ calendar sure to be a chart-topper

Dementia care facility working on fundraiser project

City of Nanaimo asking for opinions about planned downtown mobility hub

Short-term improvements include Front Street bikeway, intersection upgrades and more

Woman airlifted with serious injuries after being struck by car in Nanaimo

Woman, hit in crosswalk, suffers life-threatening injuries; driver co-operating with police

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

Birthday boy: Pettersson nets 2 as Canucks beat Predators

Vancouver ends four-game winless skid with 5-3 victory over Nashville

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

On Remembrance Day, community pledges never to forget

Images from Remembrance Day ceremonies in Lantzville on Monday, Nov. 11

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

B.C.’s high gasoline prices still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

One dead after fiery crash in Duncan

A man has died after a fiery motor vehicle collision Monday night,… Continue reading

Vancouver Island substitute teacher said he wanted a student to ‘whack’ two others on Grade 8 field trip

Campbell River teacher-on-call suspended three weeks after November 2018 incident

Nanaimo’s Sikh community celebrates 550th birthday of religion’s first Guru

Guru Nanak Dev Ji Gurpurab among the most sacred of Sikh religious festivals

Most Read