Fuller Lake tenting site another inevitable disaster

Temporary locations don’t work for the homeless or the public

Re: “Fuller Lake Arena parking lot on list of homeless tent sites” (Courier, May 14)

Recently in Victoria’s Topaz Park we witnessed again how temporary measures exacerbate the homeless crisis.

For years, every temporary measure that spins homeless from street to park to hotel to street has failed and cost taxpayers millions in cleanup of degraded parks, vandalized hotels and policing threatened neighbourhoods.

Yet, local politicians are considering ‘funding’ (actually wasting) hundreds of thousands of our hard-earned tax dollars again for another ‘temporary’ tent city in the Fuller Lake Arena parking lot.

We must demand better from politicians than repeating temporary failed, wasteful projects, right? How about real, dignified solutions?

First, living on streets and in public parks must be illegal. Folks on streets must be relocated where their needs can be accessed and addressed with dignity. Addicted and or mentally ill folks need treatment facilities preferably in a rural setting where they can heal and gain work skills to live a dignified life.

Some homeless folks just need affordable rent to own housing. Vandals must be held to account and jailed. Those receiving ‘free’ needles must return used ones before getting their new fix. This will reduce the tens of thousands of discarded needles destroying our bountiful rivers and trails.

Had politicians initiated building mental health facilities and low income rent to own housing few years ago, we would see these dignified solutions. Instead, many bureaucratic committees were formed to ‘study the crisis’ and print booklets to ‘end homelessness’.

Again, millions wasted and the crisis exacerbated. The very notion of another temporary tent city that will inevitably degrade both land and lake is shocking and demonstrates the utter failure of politicians to address this crisis with any common sense.

Let’s voice our opposition to this inevitable disaster. Politicians, keep in mind that you are elected to serve the citizens, not serve your own political agenda.

E. Gelb,

Chemainus

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