When will we say ‘enough is enough’?

I have read various estimates as to our provincial government’s costs of providing various services to the homeless. Those costs presumably come out off the revenue pot that all of us contribute to, through various forms of taxation, and we don’t feel the sting. However, there are other costs, direct, out-of-pocket expenses for the many citizens who are more directly exposed to the many negative aspects of having so many homeless, unemployed people and addicts in our community.

Many businesses are spending large amounts of money on additional security they have had to install, then there is the cost of cleaning up refuse, grafitti removal, etc., and the financial losses due to shoplifting.

Homeowners with claims for theft or vandalism may be covered by insurance, but usually have to pay a deductible, out of their own pockets.

Owners of vacant properties, often treed, are coping with unwanted camps, filled with clutter, refuse and human excrement. To preserve the value of their property, they clear it, remove precious trees, and fence it. That costs money.

Local waterways are being polluted with body waste.

Owners of vacant houses risk them being taken over by vagrants, with resulting damage, destruction and sometimes arson.

Tourism is a big generator of revenue locally, but homeless persons hardly enhance the downtown with their presence and their panhandling. We all lose if tourism declines.The incidence of local petty, and not so petty, crime has escalated.

We are all paying more, either indirectly through our taxes, or more directly for those in closer proximity to the negative aspects of homelessness.

To the do-gooders who advocate giving these people even more assistance, remember the cynical old saying “no good deed goes unpunished”? When will we say ‘enough is enough’?

Leonard Mustard


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