PENINSULA letter: We’re all affected by homelessness

I have often wondered what would we do here in Sidney if the homeless community decided to move here.

I have often wondered what would we do here in Sidney if the homeless community decided to move here. There are some clear advantages to Sidney over downtown Victoria, especially in the good weather months.

We have lovely waterfront and beaches to enjoy, clean sidewalks with lots of benches, a caring population that isn’t jaded to street people yet, excellent dumpster opportunities at our food stores and restaurants, and non-gated sleeping alcoves. I’m not being facetious here, nor sarcastic. Our beautiful little seaside haven is a wonderful place for anyone to be.

Homelessness can happen anywhere to just about anyone. The very fact of being homeless means you can go wherever your homelessness can survive. Victoria has a homeless ‘industry’.  There are numerous services and organizations that try their best to alleviate the ongoing tragedy that homelessness brings to our lives … and I mean all of us.  One way or another, we are all affected to some degree.

We elect governments to manage these things.  We are a very fortunate population here to have so much for so many of us. We can easily afford the cost of managing this and many other problems that will always continue to need our attention. To ask the people of any community to just randomly help and give a hand up to people is at best a heartfelt appeal for a vague solution to a hugely complex situation. We need to legislate effective help. I don’t mean some draconian, heartless laws. We need practical guidelines, rules of the road. And the road has to lead somewhere that works.

We need to let those we empower to serve us all know that this is a core issue for their political survival if not just the right thing to do. Will we do this? Go look in the mirror and ask yourself directly … it’s about political will.

This isn’t a subject to be solved in a brief (though obviously caring) editorial, nor in three sentence ‘solution’ responses by readers, although these things both get the dialogue going. Let’s keep it going. We as a small community are not equipped to solve this problem. It’s bigger than us but it’s not bigger than the governments we pay for. It’s up to all of us to decide what kind of a world we are voting for and paying for. I have often wondered what we would do.

Brian Trotto, Saanichton

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

December and January, so far, have seen their share of rain. (Black Press Media file photo)
Potential for snow in Greater Victoria after unusually wet December, January

Winter is on the way, says Environment and Climate Change Canada

Rendering offers an overhead view of proposed tiny home community using repurposed shipping containers in the Caledonia/Vancouver street parking lot next to Royal Athletic Park. Council voted to allow Aryze Developments apply for a temporary use permit as part of the project. (Courtesy Aryze Developments)
Anonymous donor boosts shipping container housing project in Victoria

Donor promises to match further donations until $500,000 goal is met

Stair care in Colwood
Colwood Coun. Michael Baxter says Latoria Creek Park is now more enjoyable and safe to take a stroll through due to the latest upgrades completed on the staircase. Four long sets of nature stairs now include slip-proof metal steps. The elevated staircase also allows for better air flow to slow the rotting process, and metal handrails to prevent splinters. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Colwood unveils massive upgrade to popular park staircase

Upgrades include slip-proof metal steps, metal handrails and raised design

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

Local MP Elizabeth May says the federal government needs to revise its rules around allowing freighters to anchor in and around the Gulf Islands. (Black Press Media File)
MP Elizabeth May promises to press new transportation minister on issues important to Vancouver Island

Key issues include anchoring freightes, southern resident killer whales and fate of local bus line

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Egg producers in B.C. aren’t obligated to reveal their production sites. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Officials say there’s not enough Vancouver Island eggs to meet demand

BC Egg Marketing Board doesn’t regulate labelling, supply needed from off-Island

A Courtenay resident labours to remove the snow build-up from around her car in February 2019. The area may see snow throughout the coming weekend. Black Press file photo
Snow, winter might not be done with Vancouver Island quite yet

Flurries, snow and cold temps predicted for the weekend for mid-Island

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Most Read