Quantifying the cost of improving homlessness would be more forward thinking: letter


I have listened to the complete discussion of Campbell River City Council regarding the proposed (and passed) motion to direct city staff to collect and quantify the costs of downtown disturbances. And then to use the information gathered for questionable purposes.

For example, Coun. (Ron) Kerr mentioned in his comments that he questions the validity of harm reduction practice, therefore, the costs of these services and their failures need to be quantified. And further stated that the services being discussed (primarily harm reduction and life saving services) do not “pull people out of addiction.” I wonder about Coun. Kerr and other councillors’ mindset; that they have a better knowledge of the process and efficacy of addiction recovery> However, that opinion doesn’t align with currently-accepted social science. Has the research been studied by this group? What arrogance to believe they know better than the researchers who spend their careers studying these issues.

Coun. Kerr also stated “you can draw a line directly from addiction to domestic violence.” Again, acting like an expert where he is not. I am an expert on the issue of gender-based violence and Kerr’s statement is again inaccurate.

Seeking the costs of all human-caused disturbances in the downtown core will not give the answers desired, but will continue to point fingers of blame at certain groups.

If there is a need to quantify costs, it seems obvious that quantifying the cost to create the desired improvements would be much more forward thinking and, frankly, a much better use of time and money.

Valery Puetz,

Campbell River

Campbell RiverHomelessness

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