Letters: ‘Holistic plan’

MLAs Doug Bing and Marc Dalton have listened and understand homelessness is indicative of various issues in community.

Editor, The News:

Re: Maple Ridge MLAs announce ‘intensive case management team’ for homeless.

If you don’t understand the word holistic, then you certainly won’t understand MLAs Doug Bing and Marc Dalton’s approach to homelessness.

Holistic is characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.

The approach these two have lobbied the government on is one that has mostly far surpassed anything I would have hoped for.

They listened at the meeting and obviously understand that homelessness is not indicative of only one, but of the different areas of problems that Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are experiencing.

I’m particularly pleased to see the housing provisions for those at risk of homelessness or actual homelessness of young families, seniors and the disabled. They recognize that those people can’t and won’t go to any shelter that houses drug addicts.

The 80 units of safe affordable housing will certainly lessen the housing burden of market rent prices and availability of affordable housing.

Well done.

In recognizing that housing at-risk youth with seasoned drug addicts doesn’t work, they also secured a commitment for $1 million in support of a safe house for our vulnerable youth. Early prevention like this will go a long ways in saving these precious young people.

Some speakers at the meeting brought up the issues that our mentally challenged face.

They announced that Coast Mental Health was taking over the Alouette Heights building. I expect that the building will once again go back to being a safe place to live.

I looked up the track record of Coast Mental Health and I found they have actual support services in place and actual programs to assist the mentally challenged in transitioning into being the most productive that they can be.

There is lots of money being spent out there, but Coast Mental Health uses it in ways that show positive results.

How refreshing to see that this will once again be a ‘purpose’ building and not  the catch-all flop house that it was becoming.

The Hope for Freedom facility isn’t just a name. It’s slogan of positive change for those men who wish to regain respect and dignity within their life, working through an application of an abstinence-based addiction recovery program. It hopes addicts who want to be helped …

Within the facility the new $50,000 kitchen will have the space and utility for both meeting the needs of the facility and offering the potential to individuals, with the involvement of community participation, training for possible employment in the culinary service industry. Dignity comes with the personal recognition of achievements.

Hey, there should be space available to even be a part of our Haney Farmers Market, to sell the garden produce and any canning and preserved fruits and veggies that they have been able to create. Dignity and hope versus enabling along a path of destruction and possible death –how could not see the benefits of this.

Announcing the future implementation of a curfew is definitely a positive thing.

Closing RainCity again is also a positive thing. Any shelter provider that brags about saving 32 lives with Narcan needs to be criticized severely. This shelter is supposed to be drug-free. Yet by giving us this statistic, RainCity has proven it is incapable of running a clean, safe environment.

Recognizing that the Sally Ann will be the service provider is a big step up in assessing and helping these people on a road to recovery.

The challenge will be to not allow any problems to filter onto Cliff Avenue.

The sooner a new site for a shelter is found, the sooner we will see our downtown cleaned up.

For those who can’t see the benefits in this holistic approach, I say enabling drug use just pushes these people down the road to death.

Janet Kirkpatrick

Maple Ridge

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