Spirit of the season could help existing social problems

On any given night about 30,000 Canadians sleep in charitable overnight accommodation, or in shelters, or on the streets.

To the Editor,

Certain religious folk believe their icon was born in a manger, as there was no room at the inn for a homeless couple who came to Bethlehem. Images of that nativity scene are symbolically prominent at this time of year, but real homelessness has reached a crisis point two millennia later.

A recent nationwide survey asserts that homelessness is caused by poverty, disability, addiction, mental illness or trauma, and on any given night about 30,000 Canadians sleep in charitable overnight accommodation, or in domestic violence shelters, or simply try and survive on the streets. Another 50,000 are temporarily staying with friends or family, simply because there is nowhere else to go.

Surely, all levels of government need to work together, and think about creating permanent housing instead of the tent cities that have become prevalent in many communities. It would need a concerted effort to acquire disused public properties such as schools and hospitals across the country, then refurbish them into hostels for the homeless.

Ebenezer Scrooge changed his miserly ways, and cooked his Christmas goose in Charles Dickens’s wonderful tale of redemption. Now it’s time for all government agencies to say ‘What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander,’ and put as much focus and resources on homelessness as is put in welcoming Syrian refugees.

Canadians will offer help to the homeless, just as they are doing for the refugees; charity begins at home, after all. It’s time to put some Ho! Ho! Ho! into homelessness.

Bernie SmithParksville

 

To the Editor,

Up to 3,500 Syrian refugees are about to arrive in B.C.. Before the citizens of B.C. start patting themselves on the back over their generosity, they might want to reconsider their priorities in light of this ugly fact: for many years, B.C. has led all other provinces in Canada with the highest percentage of children living under the poverty level.

John D. MacdonaldNanaimo

Just Posted

VIDEO: Fires break out in scrap piles at Harmac mill

Nanaimo firefighters got blazes under control in early morning hours Saturday

Nanaimo firefighters called to battle B.C. Interior blaze

Nanaimo fire truck and crew called to bolster efforts against B.C.’s biggest wildfire

Swimmers welcomed back to Westwood Lake

City of Nanaimo announces lake is re-open to swimmers after eight-day closure

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Discontent City situation is dragging on and on

It’s on and on and court cases seem to be going nowhere, says letter writer

City in holding pattern following this week’s court ruling regarding Discontent City

City of Nanaimo’s legal counsel unsure when ruling will be made

Two hurt in car wreck at Northfield intersection

NANAIMO – Honda and Volkswagen crash at 10 p.m. Friday on old Island Highway

Nanaimo’s VIEX country fair underway

Vancouver Island Exhibition happening Aug. 17-19 at Beban Park

Vehicle catches fire on Rutherford Road

NANAIMO – No one hurt in incident, which happened at 2:30 p.m. Friday

Authorities mull evacuation order for Zeballos

Smoke billowed from the steep hillsides of Zeballos on Friday evening, as… Continue reading

Beefs & Bouquets, Aug. 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Safeway union urges prejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Fire chases B.C. crews out of their own camp

Crews in Burns Lake had to leave after a wildfire reportedly overtook their sleeping quarters

To address peacock problem, B.C. city moves ahead on trapping plan

Surrey’s new bylaw focuses on ensuring people no longer feed the birds, ahead of relocation

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

About 1,000 Saudi residents called back to kingdom after suspending diplomatic relations with Canada

Most Read