Lack of leadership on homelessness

I have been seeing a lot in The NEWS about the homeless problems in Parksville for far too long.

I have been seeing a lot in The NEWS about the homeless problems in Parksville for far too long.

Homeless people are also becoming more and more visible on the streets. I would suggest that current ongoing meetings upon meetings are going nowhere.

People pay homage and lip service with the best of intentions, groups and individuals have many different points of view and NIMBYs abound. Homelessness may not be palatable but is not going away.

Leadership is required to bring together the whole community in a well-organized task force with everyone’s input (including the homeless) to deal with all aspects of the issue including mental illness and addiction.

I ask you to recall the success of the SD69 Crystal Meth Task Force in 2005, under the leadership of the SOS, that pulled together the whole community, a task force that collectively defined the goals, set specific objectives and time lines and in six months had virtually eradicated meth from SD69.

It’s not rocket science. The key factor was the Crystal Meth Task Force was run off the side of the people’s desks in all community services with enthusiasm and the whole community was involved.

So what is stopping a concerted effort to deal with this issue collectively as a community should, instead of arguing who can live in parks or pitch tents, etc.? Let’s move to solving the real issue.

So where is the leadership? It is time to act — homelessness is not going to disappear.

Kevin Wilson, former SOS executive directorParksville

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