LETTER: Those needing housing supports are neither thieves nor predators

The people who use Forward House are kind, generous, established citizens of Parksville Qualicum Beach. They are not thieves, nor predators. They are individuals, living in this community, who are experiencing mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety, as so many of us do. And yes, some of these people struggle with addictions as well.

Many of them live below the poverty line, on disability benefits, and struggle to find suitable, affordable market housing. While many of them are unable to work full-time, they contribute to the community by volunteering, working casual or part-time jobs, going to school, and being good tenants and neighbours, despite often living in sub-standard conditions. We see the amazing generosity and support these individuals give each other on a daily basis through sharing resources, giving encouragement, and offering friendship.

Many of our more than 80 clients live in homes that are mouldy, rodent-infested, and far below the standard that most of us could, and should, bear. For community members below the age of 65, there is virtually no warm, clean, and safe affordable housing in this community. For our seniors, there is a very limited amount of affordable housing available .

The proposed housing at 222 Corfield St. would allow our clients to live in clean, safe housing with the added bonus of wrap-around supports from our Housing Outreach Support Team (which some are already accessing) and the experienced support workers at Island Crisis Care Society. Being downtown means that they can continue to access the supports they need, like Forward House.

Living at 222 Corfield would be a great opportunity for these community members to be wonderful neighbours and friends to others who need them, while also thriving themselves. These folks have battled stigma throughout their lives — please show them that Parksville Qualicum Beach is a caring and supportive community that truly cares for those who are courageous enough to ask for the supports they need not only to survive, but to thrive.

Sharon Welch, MA, CPHR

Executive director, Forward House

Community Society

Just Posted

Woodyatt seeks help to pursue physics education in London

Ballenas Secondary product gets accepted to prestigious university in United Kingdom

Solar system spending, asbestos removal in SD69 plan

Green house gas emission report received at May 22 board meeting

Gr. 7s learn about digital safety, health, consent at con in Parksville

SD69 hosts first Health and Wellness Conference for students headed to high school

Qualicum Beach east village plans take shape

Staff moving forward with east village concept

Three-for-one at Parksville studio for tour

Local artists participating in Central Island Studio Tour May 26-27

VIDEO: Meet some of the Vancouver Island Tribute Festival performers

The NEWS speaks with Elvis, Liberace tribute artists and others before they go on parade

Passersby help rescue occupants of home as fire breaks out in Courtenay

Coffee run turns into fire rescue for pair of men

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Five simultaneous events organized by month-old Suits and Boots lobby group

VIDEO: B.C. woman praises burn fund after boat explosion in 1978

White Rock woman was 16 years old when she was left with second- and third-degree burns

B.C.’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

CP rail workers give strike notice

Employees could walk out as early as Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT

RCMP investigating after gunshots fired in Courtenay

Comox Valley RCMP officers are investigating after gunshots rang out in Courtenay… Continue reading

Vancouver Island wife brings husband back to life with CPR, thanks to 911 dispatcher

‘The dispatcher literally taught me CPR over the phone’

Most Read