South end doesn’t need cleaning up

Poverty is not a crime and it is not an esthetics issue to be cleaned up. Poverty is a human rights issue.

To the Editor,

Re: South end’s renewal attracts attention, Sept. 4.

The reporter writes as though removing impoverished people from the neighbourhood somehow alleviates poverty. In reality, impoverished people have been pushed from one area to another, but they are still impoverished. Gentrification does nothing to help people escape from active addiction and sex work.

One source quoted in the article evidently considers gentrification to be reclamation of the neighbourhood. But reclamation from whom? From people who can’t afford to live anywhere else? From people struggling with highly stigmatized mental health issues?

I think that sounds more like appropriation than reclamation.

Poverty is not a crime and it is not an esthetics issue to be cleaned up. Poverty is a human rights issue.

Leaf KotasekGabriola Island