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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Been a while

Been a while since my last post. I was away for a few weeks vacation, in September a very much needed break in a place I am not know. Went up and visited family in Tumbler Ridge and while not a place I would choose to live in it does have its attributes in that there is much in the way of natural beauty to see. Did a fair bit of hiking while there and found that on a whole the vaction was very relaxing.

Since getting back I have jumped in full force with the following two letters being written as well as helping to organize a community Thanksgiving Dinner More than 300people attend free thanksgiving dinner . I find these types of hands on events to be extremely gratifying.

This one almost didn't happen due to some trepedition on the part of some members of the Working Group on Homelessness. Fortunately Myself and a few others were not to be swayed and so within just over a week managed to set everything up. We had huge support from many community members who volunteered in a number of capacities and without whom the event would not have been a success. As I say very gratifying.

Letters: (Both in part to the announcement of low barrier housing that will go in off Townsite Rd. near the Hospital)

This first was in response to a prticulaily nasty letter to the editor published on the 7th, link below. The other problem, than the shere maliciousness, was that it is full of misinformation.
October 8, 2010

Re; Fight against low-barrier housing isn't over

Many people will read Susan Knight’s letter to the editor and immediately offer harsh judgment on her apparently unwavering attitude expressed towards those with addiction in our community. My first reaction was such.

As I thought about it further, putting aside the misinformation and fear mongering while looking at it objectively, I can see that this is someone who actually believes very strongly in her community. What is truly unfortunate is that her passion and opinion are articulated in such a malicious way.

This is a person that seems so stuck in her beliefs that at first one could surmise there would be no hope for change. Upon further reflection what I really feel for her is compassion, the same compassion I feel for those stuck in addiction.

When it comes to the issues of homelessness, addiction, prostitution and housing, all sides need to be objective and considerate of each other’s concerns.

I am reminded of a couple old ethics of reciprocity; ‘Judge not lest ye be judged,’ and ‘treat others as you would like to be treated.’

This one I wrote because I fully expect NIMBY to be harped on and also in that I believe the city needs to respond to the areas concerns ASAP.
September 28, 2010

Re: Neighbours don't want low cost housing nearby Sept 14, Rich end of Nanaimo has its share of problems Sept 20, and, Services should be in all areas Sept 22.

Sooner or later the dreaded term NIMBY will rear its ugly head when associated with these three recent stories. I have mentioned before that I believe those that are true NIMBY’s are in the minority and much like those they often accuse of abusing the social system occupy an extremely small niche when it comes to categorizing human behaviour. So far, except for some nasty comments on the internet versions, I believe the letters and other comments show a true concern for this community.

As an advocate for social change and the overall decentralization of services to avoid concentration and ghettoization of any area it behooves the City to enter into open discussion with the neighbourhood. It is a fact that poverty and addiction are not limited to any one area of the City and as such services should be interspersed throughout the greater community.

Low barrier housing is definitely one of these services. A number of properties are proposed for supportive housing throughout the City, a wise decision that took years for the City to buy into. If this form of housing is managed well, kept to a reasonable size and has adequate staffing, it can fit in. Often the result is, those receiving help become some of the strongest proponents for the neighbourhoods they are in.

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