Why so little talk in Burnaby about homelessness?
Re: Burnaby's silence on homelessness deafening (Column, NewsLeader, Jan. 11)
I'm a new citizen to Burnaby. I lived in Ottawa for the past 10 years where I constantly saw homeless people on the street (even though there are some shelters, there is barely enough) in -20 degrees Celsius plus windchill temperatures. So I am an avid fan of helping the homeless.
But like Chris Bryan, I want to ask why is there so little discussion about this issue in Burnaby? I am impressed that this city has such a progressively minded municipal government (something I grew up with in Saskatchewan). So that is nice, and I do not really want to castigate a government that appears to be not only successful but doing really well for itself.
But this issue is an odd one—why is there so little discussion about the homelessness in Burnaby?
1) I wonder, based on my work with homelessness, whether people don't want to talk about something as unfortunate as homelessness. I am not saying the mayor doesn't want to comment on this, but if we are waiting for the citizens to push for this issue, that may not happen. Sometimes ignorance is bliss, and it is to the detriment of the homeless.
2) I have also been informed that because Burnaby is so close to the east side Vancouver, and there are quite a few shelters there, that may be where people think homeless people go; and thus believe there isn't a real serious homeless issue in Burnaby.
Again, I am new and have not travelled the city to much, but I applaud the NewsLeader for tackling an issue many people do not want to talk about.