Homeless need healing, not enforcement

Funds wasted on enforcement need to be re-allocated to setting up healing centres in every community

Homeless need healing, not enforcement

Homeless need healing, not enforcement

I spent a morning having coffee with some local RCMP members. The event was called ‘Coffee with a Cop’, and it was rewarding to say the least.

We were discussing how it doesn’t make sense to place law enforcement officers in the position of babysitting some of the troublemakers of the local homeless population. We all agreed that what is needed for this rising challenge in every community across Canada are healing centres. Much like the local Hope Farm Healing Centre on Drinkwater Road, just outside of Duncan.

When our youth are brought up with emotional, sexual, or physical abuse they need healing not the band-aid of enforcement. A child brought up under the erratic behavior of an alcoholic parent (or parents who are negligent in responsible parenting practices), needs to get to a safe learning environment where he/she can sort out those past difficult experiences and begin to rebuild a life of trust and confidence.

Homeless individuals each have their own life story which brought them to the place of possible drug addiction, depression, and unemployment. How we treat our disadvantaged is a statement of our compassion and integrity as a community. Law enforcement officers are neither skilled nor appreciative of having this challenge put on their lap. The funds wasted on enforcement need to be re-allocated to setting up healing centres in every community.

The community members who understand this vision need to galvanize a political will to push our city administrators to shift funding from police enforcement of this particular issue to building and supporting facilities where homeless can learn plumbing, electrical, construction, computer and farming skills while at the same time receiving counselling, group therapy, addiction therapy, and a general emotional/mental healing. We figured these homeless individuals would need one or two years at such healing centres, not a couple of nights in jail.

I am sharing this letter to all editors in every Canadian community because it is time we stepped up to the plate.

Bill Woollam