Re: City OK’s micro-housing (News, June 10)
I am someone who regularly interacts with the street people of the city as part of my job.
I can say that the vast majority of the “homeless” type of people that you regularly scuttle by downtown are mostly harmless and kind people if you get to know them. They are simply ill, and generally homelessness is often not their most critical illness.
If you take the time to talk to these people and ask their story, you will learn that their tale is almost always one of mental or physical childhood abuse, coupled often with mental illness and addiction.
Homelessness is not the most critical problem for many of these people.
Before offering housing we will need dedicated teams of mental health professionals to assess each individual on a case by case basis.
I do not believe that simply building a village and leaving them to their own devices is the correct course of action, and nor will it reduce policing costs as the city has suggested.
I am also very weary of the location being proposed inside public parks. Aren’t parks supposed to be for the taxpayers to enjoy?
If council is absolutely serious about this initiative it has to purchase new land to put this micro-village on. There are still plenty of vacant lots in the city that could be purchased.
I think once these structures begin being erected in our city parks there are going to be a lot of angry residents coming out of the woodwork, and perhaps rightly so. It will be a gigantic can of worms the city must open with the utmost tact.
Matthew McKenzie, Fernwood