We all need a home

Homeless people should not live in a park. This is for a couple of reasons: their own safety, as well as the safety of others.

Homeless people should not live in a park. This is for a couple of reasons: their own safety, as well as the safety of others.

Some homeless people have mental challenges, substance abuse issues and criminal records which may pose a risk to the public. Others do not have these issues and pose no risk. For either group, a public park is not the answer.

Situational or temporarily homeless people usually utilize shelters. It is the chronic homeless that often have challenges that make them difficult to house. It is not being mean or negative to say that this is the case, it’s just stating reality. Homeless people need to have access to indoor living space.

What does it say about a community that lets homeless people live in a park? The community should make a commitment to find safe housing for these individuals, even if it’s untraditional homes such as “tiny houses.”

Some communities build tiny portable houses unlike trailer homes that can be moved. This could include portable houses made out of recycled metal storage containers (yes those that you see on trains and outside construction sites).

Finding a solution could be a project for the local university in partnership with residents, local government, social service agencies and faith communities. We also have a federal government that has committed to providing more supportive housing.

The timing is right. The community needs to put its money where its mouth is. If we truly believe in taking care of the homeless and the needy then we need to pay for it and fund more living spaces for safety and dignity. Also if the goal is to move the homeless into more stable living environments, we need to discourage “tent cities” so these individuals can begin reshaping their lives.

The bottom line is that everyone needs a place to call home — even if it’s a halfway house or shelter.

Gina LumParksville

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Naked Naturals has tentative deal for $2.5M purchase of town-owned in Qualicum Beach

Business plan includes a new grocery store, 32 units of rental housing and parking

Johns talks grants, veteran housing pilot with Qualicum Beach council

MP says he will help push for funding at the federal level

Parksville kids shovel neighbourhood driveways during snow day

Group of youngsters will donate the $185 raised to charity

Parksville man, 94, among oldest members of the Submariners Association of Canada

Ian Hopkins spent time in the Arctic in a submarine in the 1940s with the Royal Navy

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

BC Ferries hybrid ships arrive in Victoria on Saturday

The battery-operated vessels will take over smaller routes

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

Most Read