Pubdate: Tue, 01 Nov 2005
Source: Chilliwack Progress (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 The Chilliwack Progress
Author: S. Storey


Re: 'tent city,' Progress, Oct. 18.

I find it commendable that the Chilliwack Vedder River Cleanup
Coalition undertook the task of this cleanup. However, where the
coalition saw garbage, I saw the meager possessions of the homeless
and drug-addicted. Where city councillor Mark Anderson saw a 'home for
criminals,' I saw only the home of the drug addicted doing anything
and everything to get their next fix of drugs.

I don't believe anyone wakes up in the morning and decides to be a
criminal when they grow up. This criminal activity is the last curve
on the drug addicted road. The need for crystal meth (or indeed any
drug) far outweighs any sense of conscience. The need is far too powerful.

I can't help but wonder what happened to the inhabitants of this city.
Were they offered temporary shelter? Were they offered a meal? Were
they allowed to take any of their possessions? Were they offered drug
counselling? Were they shuffled along for another community to deal
with? Where does our responsibility as a community begin and end?

Chilliwack recently held a forum on crystal meth with over 800 people
in attendance. Understanding the problem is only the beginning. We
must now put a plan of action into place to help those who are already
addicted. Taking away their possessions (garbage or not) and labelling
them criminals is not the solution to this terrible problem.

S. Storey
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin