So here we have it, reported in both papers recently.
There was a great deal of donations to support a dog show, tireless radio coverage of amateur sports, support for blood donor clinics, special Olympics, cops for cancer, money for an environmental project, art appreciation day, heritage day, family fun day, all overshadowed by the total obliteration of hope for the homeless and working poor of Campbell River and a big slap in the face to the founders of Hope Outreach Society.
This is all thanks to the not-in-my backyard attitudes and the lets-have-another-coalition driven city hall.
There is just cause to suggest that the City of Campbell River and many of the citizens here don’t turn their backs on show dogs, sports, mental handicaps, cancer, the environment or families.
But they certainly have no time for, say, the dogs of homeless people, the environment where people live in tents and under tarps, the poor kid who cannot eat three meals a day so certainly cannot afford sports equipment, the malnourished anemic minimum wage worker who has to miss work and therefore misses earning his rent money, the high percentage of marginalized people with mental conditions who did not have supportive families or coaches, or the people on welfare or disability pensions who are fighting cancer.
Hope Outreach offered just that; hope beyond conventional limits due to years of failed policies and whacky priorities by “leaders” who make decisions about these issues by chronically appointing task forces that take agency workers out of their offices to attend expensive and endless workshops. Those workers then come up with strategies for problems in this area but don’t want to see it out their windows or near their businesses.
Who are these people? How did they end up homeless?
Why aren’t they staying in a shelter?
How can they be employed and hungry and homeless?
What obstacles are preventing them from getting off the streets and into housing?
These are the questions we really need to learn the answers to and you do that by hanging out with the Hope Outreach Society on site, not sitting in a conference room jacking up an expense account.
Why is the City of Campbell River spending money – a significant amount of money – task forcing and work-shopping the issue to death?
Shame on us for politicizing homelessness, shame on us for not facilitating hope that food, clothing and emotional support can and will be provided out of a van run by two older Christian women from a consistent location while you are all in your workshops talking about it.
The little green van with the yellow cross and the big word “Hope” has been run out of your neighborhood.
Maybe the next workshop for our “Homeless Task Force” should be about the hypocrisy of it all.