Homelessness a responsibility of all of us

Homelessness a responsibility of all of us

Who will help deal with the housing crisis in this province?

Homelessness a responsibility of all of us

Wednesday, Sept. 19, CHEK News at 5 p.m. reported on the homeless issue and they are to be commended for their work. It revealed how shallow, in my opinion, some politicians are.

We had one councillor saying, she voted in the interests of those who voted her into office and thus voted against a 15-bed homeless shelter for women in her community. My interpretation was, she was there only to represent those who owned homes or could afford rents. She left me with the impression she didn’t care about those who once lived in homes, but had lost them; didn’t care about women who were facing winter on the streets of their community. It would be reasonable to conclude she didn’t care if they died. Yes, that is what happens when people are homeless in the winter, they die.

Homelessness is not a new problem. The news reported one mayor saying he expected the provincial government to cover the costs of policing for those who had moved to a provincial park in his community.

It is not solely the fault of the current provincial government. We had another government in office for 16 years, which was kept in office by the voters of this province. During that time, little was done to assist the homeless or those living on the economic margins of our society. Now suddenly the new government is supposed to “cure” it all? Homelessness isn’t just the responsibility of Ottawa and Victoria. All politicians are elected to lead for the entire community, not just those who live in houses and apartments.

When people go to vote in their municipal elections they might want to ask themselves: who will help deal with the housing crisis in this province? As CHEK News reported, the average rent for a one bedroom in Victoria is $1,200 per month, seventh highest in Canada. This problem isn’t going away. Do something about it, because you might find yourself being homeless in the future. We already know one in five Canadians will have to avail themselves of the services of the food bank.

E. A. Foster

Nanaimo