Re: Housing czar defends drug ghettos (B.C. Views, Feb. 17).
Good for Tom Fletcher for saying it like it is and what most people seem to be scared or uncomfortable to express.
Having been an advocate for the truly disadvantaged for more than 50 years I am discouraged by the lack of long-range thinking of our governments in this regard.
As a teen I volunteered in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and have worked in Victoria in community support for many years. I have friends who work in the field here and in Vancouver. So I guess I have first-hand experience and while I obviously care I am also a realist.
While of course there are sad valid situations, it’s becoming a runaway horse. The overall excuses and sense of entitlement and the perpetuating of this mindset by our elected leaders has produced no results except more and more of it.
How about putting this effort and funding into long-term prevention? Like turning the former Victoria Boys and Girls Club into after-school activity space since a large middle school happens to be across the street. I’m sure this will be of some use to keep kids safe, occupied and out of the hands of drug recruiters while parents work.
Instead of paying homeless people a $20 per person to consult on housing, perhaps the total spent could have provided breakfast in schools where some kids come hungry.