People demonstrate at the tent city homeless camp in Victoria in 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

People demonstrate at the tent city homeless camp in Victoria in 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Letter writer missing point in attacking Victoria News columnist

Tom Fletcher pointing out facts, not vilifying certain people

Re: Being poor is not a crime (Letters, June 7)

Letter writer Alison Acker misrepresents columnist Tom Fletcher’s writings on homeless camps.

I read Fletcher as objecting to self-serving activists, commenting that a noticeable proportion of homeless here came from harsher climates, and urging rational help for homeless and addicts. He has knowledge of poverty and helping people with mental illness.

Instead, neo-Marxist activists want to throw money at the problem – consistent with their fixed-pie economic presumptions, and help people consume what causes the problem of homelessness for many people – intoxicants.

Activists exploit poor people for their own agenda of more control. One especially bad example was vandalism of a mayor’s house by people claiming to represent homeless – complete with refusal of the spokesperson for a local group to condemn the actions, whereas homeless people at Our Place had the decency to condemn the violence.

Another was Victoria Coun. Jeremy Loveday’s rant that in trying to protect people in the courthouse tent camp, police were “criminalizing poverty” – a theme Acker repeats her letter.

That’s the camp in which police found much stolen property. That’s in the neighbourhood where drug dealers prey on troubled individuals. The neighbourhood where activists object to managers of subsidized housing trying to protect residents against exploiters.

Loveday attacks the people whose help is needed most by the poor, who have the least resiliency – police. Yes, the police, the same people that the activists don’t want around.

Antidotes to homelessness are to remove government from burdening honest people trying to build a life and a living, get the justice system in the way of the dishonest, stop funding neo-Marxist activist organizations that promote dependency and violence, and provide mental coaching for people with confused values who lack thinking skills.

The latter leads to addiction and is a key impediment to earning, renting and living life in general.

Keith Sketchley

Saanich

Homelessness