The presence of homeless people on the streets of our cities is likely to continue to increase in the foreseeable future. The provision of hope, housing, and health-care services has been proven to be an effective and humane solution for this predominantly societal problem.
If we choose to continue to ignore those who are homeless and impoverished, the problems that we fear will only become more evident in our streets. The presence of the supportive housing project in the core of our city (a location on the outskirts would be far less effective) will contribute to improved health within our community, particularly for those who are willing to help others less fortunate than themselves.
There is no doubt that our community (Parksville Qualicum Beach) has the capacity to help those in need, to ultimately achieve their potential. The necessary collaboration of services to overcome multiple barriers to better health will improve the delivery of co-ordinated health care locally, and is more likely to attract young physicians, nurse practitioners, and nurses to live and work here.
We need to support the Parksville council, and take advantage of this opportunity. If we miss out, it may be some time before a similar opportunity arises.
Dr. Rick Henderson