Sunday, November 19, 2006

Letter To The Editor - Nov 19, 2006 - From Pierre Moyen - Re:“Build It And They Will Come"

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I recall watching a movie on TV one night a long time ago. It was called “BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME”. Many of you may remember it, especially if you are baseball fans. The theme lingered a bit in my mind, and thoughts of the homeless and other down and outs in the lower mainland began to brew up more thought, because there is a connection.

In the movie, the concept was strong enough to bring back the dead. Now that’s pretty damn strong medicine! What if homeless canadians from all over Canada were to come out here to enjoy our climate and hospitality, in the event that our government(s) put together a near perfect plan for inexpensive housing for the homeless? Why not, if such a plan was done with a reasonable degree of perfection? Yikes!

Given the vast differences in the reasons that individuals and even families are homeless, we know that there is no common cause or solution. We can be certain that the NIMBYS will be out in droves to contest the location of any low cost or high density housing in their neighborhoods, and can we blame them? The possibility of vagrancy, street gangs, littering, drug addiction and prostitution cannot be ignored if history is worth anything. If the same conditions follow when low cost housing is shoved upon the city centers, where working people pay dearly for accommodations, what should we expect from them?

Should the solution take the simpler form of relief work at nominal wages, and the homeless can then afford to find what suits them? The mentally ill would be the exception of course. How would the labor movement react?

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