I’ve been reading the letters to the editor about the supportive housing project and those opposing the project have left me feeling sad and dismayed.
Would that we all lived in a perfect world where there were no hungry people, no one who was not able to afford housing and in the case of Parksville, expensive housing, no drugs, no mental illness, no one with any problems at all. But we don’t live in such a world.
In this world, the problems facing us individually and collectively seem, at times to be insurmountable. Who, among us, whether rich or poor, has never needed any kind of assistance? Assistance comes in many forms and can be as little as offering to walk a neighbour’s dog, or as large as helping a family member prepare for a garage/yard sale or taking someone to the doctor or driving someone to and from chemotherapy week after week. The kinds of assistance are many and varied and by helping others, it makes us more human and caring.
With this project, we are asked to help, to assist in helping 50 individuals to live in safe and secure premises so that they can have a chance to improve their lives, get healthier, and, in some cases, find employment. We should want everyone, be they homeless or not, to feel that they are a part of our community rather than looking upon them as undeserving, threatening our well-being, or negatively impacting our quality of life. Who amongst us would not want another chance to make things better for ourselves?
I hope those opposed to the project will open their hearts and truly listen to those who have had experience with supportive housing and realize that their fears are just that, fears.