The city has purchased land for supportive housing along the highway.

The city has purchased land for supportive housing along the highway.

Let’s focus on homelessness in Maple Ridge, not the homeless

Attacks against homeless and those perceived to be homeless are hate crimes

Editor, the News;

Re: City tosses shelter issue to province (The News, Oct. 14).

The attacks against homeless people described by city of Maple Ridge administrator Ted Swabey – pepper spraying, assaults, threats with weapons, beatings, verbal abuse – are surely hate crimes, designed to intimidate, harm, or terrify not only a person, but a group of people to which the victim belongs.

The victims are targeted for who they are, not because of anything they have done. I trust the police respond accordingly.

Rather than directing anger at the homeless, surely we should be furious at homelessness itself? Homelessness is not caused by the ‘bad choices’ of the poor, but is a predictable consequence of the ‘bad choices’ of our decision-makers, such as the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill, massive cuts to social programs, and the gutting of social housing.

That is where our anger should be directed.

Nicholas Blomley

Maple Ridge

 

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