To the editor,
Re: Nobody wants to live in tents, Letters, June 14.
Discontent City is providing a much needed safety net for those experiencing homelessness in our community.
According to the recent homeless count, we have a minimum 335 individuals experiencing homelessness in our community – the majority of which are longtime Nanaimo residents. Of those surveyed 55 per cent were staying in public places and one third reported they had no idea where they were going to sleep that night. That’s more than 100 people, around the same amount of residents at Discontent City. These members of our community deserve to have a safe and secure place to stay and although a tent is a far cry from a home, it is certainly better than a sidewalk or alley. Many homeless report a crushing feeling of isolation that comes with living on the streets – this greatly contributes to mental health issues associated with homelessness such as anxiety and depression. The tent city offers a structured community setting where everyone looks out for each other and residents know there is always someone to talk to, to help them or to offer moral support – something they would never receive staying on the streets alone.
The city’s ‘solution’ of having these 100 people go back to sleeping in our public parks where they are forced to pack up and move every morning and face fines from bylaw officers, is more like an attempt to push these people back into the shadows so our city can go back to ignoring the issue of homelessness.
The fact that our city ‘leaders’ seem to be hell-bent on putting all their efforts (and our tax money) into fighting the homeless, who literally have nowhere to go, is shameful and offers a good insight into why there has been little to no action from this council since they received the last homeless count report two years ago.
Sarah Miller, Nanaimo
To the editor,
Re: No immediate action taken to evict campers, May 31.
While I still very much believe there’s a greater need for affordable housing, not by the illegal direct action of trespassing into city-owned property and then to occupy it, causing a lot of problems for the merchants of Port Place mall.
The legal system still yet again fails to do real justice, which in turn hampers the RCMP, the dysfunctional city councillors and Mayor Bill McKay, who continues with his usual flip and flop.
Al Munro, Nanaimo
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Nobody wants to live in tents
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Tent city campers are just squatters
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