Editor, The News:
Regarding the proposal for the Salvation Army to operate supportive housing and an emergency shelter at the sites on Burnett Street in Maple Ridge, I have been advocating the re-opening of the Riverview facilities.
First, I believe it should have never been shut down by the NDP of the 1990s. “Closer to home” provided no support for those who have struggled to fit in to society.
It is somewhat centrally located for the problem of homelessness as this is a Metro Vancouver problem. As such, the 22 municipalities of that organization should all be pulling in the same direction on this tragic issue. Riverview lands were bought and paid for back in the early 1900s and that means the taxpayers need to pay nothing to acquire appropriate property with which to undertake this project.
Understand, nothing the Salvation Army, nor the City of Maple Ridge does will be a solution as none of those people have the expertise to deal with the underlying issues of the homeless.