Provide a hand up, not a push down

Re: Manna at Jensen Street

It would be nice if there were no homeless. But they are not going to disappear in the near future. Banishing Manna from the Jensen Street lot is likely to be counterproductive.

Apart from the humanitarian reasons there are several practical ones that should be recognized.

1) Not all homeless are drug addicts — yet. People resort to drugs when they feel helpless and hopeless. Take away their help and the problem is compounded.

2) The homeless had a specific place where they could get help. Take that away and they will disperse all over the area.

3) Manna cleaned up afterwards. Now no one will be there to do it.

4) Manna offered hope. Hopeless people do not care and will be a bigger nuisance.

5) The homeless will be with us until we find a way to help as many as we can.

6) What are their options? One could wish that they would “clean themselves up” and get a job. Would anyone hire someone without an address? Would anyone hire someone who did not have access to clean clothes? We need to provide a hand up not a push down.

Cathy McNeil

Parksville

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