Homelessness and beyond

My grandson’s Quamichan middle school can’t afford a cafeteria

Homelessness and beyond

In urban areas in the U.S. and Canada, homelessness has skyrocketed by as much as 50 per cent in the last two years. Oakland, Ca. is a prime example, as well as small cities like ours, and the huge Vancouver problem. When you start to go into the US suburbs and urban sprawl, much of it is White flight where the prices dictate demographics; people running away from people, which we find at different levels in different regions, but always prevalent in some capacity just about everywhere.

I have to admit on traveling through California regularly in the late 90s and early 2000s, the appearance of places like “rest stops” was shocking. For example: it’d be typical to see hundreds of transient Mexican workers spending the night there in what seemed like encampments. While moving, driving a moving van and trailer, we were swamped by migrants looking for work. So we are not untouched by the situation.

Not being used to seeing such conditions, it was shocking and scary. Our ignorance drove the fear. It took a moment, but these were people just trying to survive, not criminals. We then began to understand and the fear was replaced with compassion. There wasn’t anything we could do to help them, but we weren’t going to allow ourselves to be prejudiced against them; always on guard, as with all day-to-day activities, but never with prejudice.

Affordable housing projects are in an almost “panic building” stage right here in our relatively small community. Duncan has a small population of 5,000, but is a central hub for businesses and public services. Its geographical location is a gore point on the main highway, always a controversy in conversation because of the traffic problems.

My grandson’s Quamichan middle school can’t afford a cafeteria or even a designated place to have a lunch. Kids eat wherever they can find a spot, which might be standing or sitting in the hallway. McD’s, about a five-minute hustle down the road, becomes a madhouse at lunchtime. That’s right, kids eat junk food for lack of other facility. If you pack a lunch, only a couple of teachers allow “in the classroom” lunch breaks. It’s actually an horrendous situation, but McDs is laughing all the way to the bank, a metaphor for almost all corporate businesses. Seventy-five per cent of all greenhouse gases are produced by about 20 corporations, like Exxon-Mobil and Raytheon. The information is at your fingertips on your phone or laptop.

In the meantime, a percentage of our public school allocated taxes goes to private schools in one form or another. Ever notice, the ruling classes never allow benefits to the rank and file without getting a piece of the action? Often, they get the lions share while the rest fight for the scraps. It’s been sophisticated through the financial system, but “cold”, “hungry”, and “homeless” has always meant the same anytime, anyplace, anywhere.

I would venture to say that most normal individuals would be appalled at the public school conditions within the Duncan area if they had to spend just one day in that environment.

Daniel Ferreira

Duncan/NC

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

Just Posted

RCMP use spike belts to end car chase

Northbound traffic was directed through Cowichan Bay and away from the Trans… Continue reading

Motorcyclist airlifted after collision in Cobble Hill

Residents describe intersection of Telegraph and Hutchinson as “dangerous” and “problematic”

Tent Island closed due to neglect and abuse from campers

Illegal campfires common on Penelakut Tribe reserve land

Denise Holt wins Cowichan Lake Idol 2020

Competition goes online this year due to COVID-19

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

COVID-19 tests come back negative for remote First Nation

“There are no suspected cases in the community at this time.”

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

Most Read