Low-barrier facilities working well

Re: ‘We can’t revisit this’, April 7.

To the Editor,

Re: ‘We can’t revisit this’, April 7.

How are residents of so called ‘wet housing’ a danger to children or seniors?

All the evidence I have read indicates that addicts are not a risk to our vulnerable residents in public places (only to their families in ‘normal’ homes).

Indeed, giving homeless people safe places in which to live reduces theft, health care dollars, loss of business in places they tend to congregate, the spread of disease, and more.

Not only has Duncan’s Warmland Community housing been well-received, but Nanaimo’s experiences have also been positive.

The cold wet emergency shelter at the Unitarian Church is located across the street from an elementary school and a block away from a daycare. The community is supportive of this program.

The Balmoral is also close to Bayview Elementary.

No problems. Why? As Dave LaBerge, a bicycle RCMP officer, recently told members of the South End Community Association, homeless people tend to avoid children – because, sadly, they remind them of what they once were, and are ashamed.

If ‘wet’ housing has no negatives and only positives, where does this fear come from? Watching too much crime TV? Isolation?

As far as I can tell, the root of this fear is discrimination, the same kind as has been exercised against people of colour, religion, ethnicity and the poor in general.

Maybe it is we ‘normal people’ who are truly poor.

Ian Gartshore


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