Letter: Langley apartment not the right place for addicts

A letter writer says a downtown apartment with seniors and the disabled is not suitable for addicts.

Dear Editor,

The coverage about seniors frightened by new neighbours described by seniors advocate Kory Down, saying how she fears the Lions complex on 203rd Street behind the Langley mall, which has provided affordable housing to seniors and people with disabilities.

I was offended by this viewpoint. I was involved in the homeless forum in Langley, advocating for the homeless people many of which are mentally ill or disabled in some way. Some of these folks have hit hard times and had unfortunate circumstances.

I worked 25 years in community living so have worked with many of these individuals.

The problem to this situation is complicated by Fraser Health Authority because they have combined the addicts with the mentally ill and disabled people.

I have seen this to be a disaster. They should not be housed together.

Mentally ill people are usually on medication and do not harm anyone. Whereas addicts use potent drugs, so they steal, con and do harm to others.

Mentally ill people can be rehabilitated with proper treatment and proper supports such as affordable housing.

Drug addicts require very different housing situations and different treatments.

I understand where this senior advocate is coming from with her concerns.

There is a lack of affordable housing in Langley. The mayors and other officials are concerned with building as many condominiums in the community but not so much about affordable housing. I know this because I sit on the Triple A Housing Committee.

Isn’t it time to look at the bigger picture of our community and provide proper housing and good supports for all people? Compassion and understanding is needed.

Marie Gold, Langley