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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: No quick fix on homelessness

Long-term planning and strategies are the right way to go, says letter writer
Discontent City homeless camp. News Bulletin file photo

To the editor,

Much gets said about the state of homelessness in Nanaimo including the many difficulties around Discontent City as people are routinely abused in public and manipulated for political ends.

In reality, the economic context has changed leaving fewer jobs, lower wages and limited housing options, pushing even lower and middle-income earners out of the housing market. It’s perhaps telling nowadays that political hopefuls avoid speech-making on full employment talking instead of attracting well-paying jobs through emergent technologies. For some, this is akin to peddling utopia.

On America’s West Coast, high-tech investment hasn’t brought prosperity to everyone. In Portland, where housing was already limited, new residents arriving to fill positions swiftly drove up the cost of living, leaving people already at their financial limits without the ability they once had to afford a place. Many have ended up homeless using public shelters or else living in tents and vehicles on the streets.

If neoliberalism has been overselling its benefits, we might then question whether our social security apparatus is robust enough for the world ahead. Trauma, mental ill-health, and addictions are enormous factors to consider in homelessness whether downtown or elsewhere.

The constraints are real, yet we are still free to take up a humane position. Our best options right now are to support Nanaimo’s affordable housing strategy, its action plan to end homelessness and elect a fit mayor and council as of Oct. 20.

Mark Busby, Nanaimo

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Homeless camp didn’t do enough to sway public support

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: More political action needed to combat homelessness

To the editor,

Re: Resources available for those facing homelessness, Letters, Sept. 20.

The writer says that at the least the homeless need to learn “basic life skills, laws of society, personal hygiene, basic resume writing and presentation skills.”

Those people unfortunate enough to be homeless exhibit more life and survival skills every day than I have needed in my life, and I suspect the writer would have to admit the same. As for what might be considered employment skills, if the writer had to live in a tent, get clean and presentable while sharing a toilet and washing facilities with 40 people, even the most fantastic resume writing and presentation skills are not going to get him a job.

A.E. Teasdale, 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.

About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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