With the current topic of homelessness in Parksville, I’d like to express my disapproval for investing and providing support to the homeless. I’ve seen an increase in the amount of begging and homelessness in Parksville and am concerned for our community.
I’ve listened to the issue, attended public discussions, and talked to these people to try and understand where they are from and what situation they are in.
A common thread is the majority of the homeless are not from here. They travel here because of how many handouts they get and how much they can make in a day (upwards of $200). Parksville doesn’t have anything to offer the homeless and we are increasing the homeless problem by supporting them.
My concern with the homeless is, I don’t feel Parksville is a good fit to forward the lives of the homeless. Affordable housing is already a problem for people with a stable foundation and job wages are at a minimal, even with a skill set and qualifications.
While it’s benevolent to want to support the homeless, all we are doing is making a place that attracts more homeless; giving more enables them to continue the homeless lifestyle. We are not going to get rid of homelessness and we should not become a community that invests in it. We should invest in families and our tourism and build on the foundation that makes us a beautiful and healthy place to raise families.
According to government reports (www.housing.giv.bc.ca/pub/Vol1.pdf) and some media reports, homelessness has a direct connection to increased crime and increased drug use. I am yet to meet a homeless person who looks to give back to the community by volunteering, cleaning up, or is concerned of the well being of others.
These are not people I would welcome in my home and Parksville is my home. If you are the type that wants to support the homeless, then open your door to them and host them yourself. There is no middle ground of building them a house or giving them land out of sight and thinking more homeless people won’t travel here for handouts. Housing them will not stop them from using drugs, it will not stop them from begging on the streets and it will not stop someone from contracting a disease if they get poked by a needle in a park.