Skip to content

A snapshot sense of home in Vernon

Letter on homelessness shows the reality of the situation of a plight to survival in our modern city
A snapshot of homelessness in Vernon. (Ed Witzke photo)

A Vernon Morning Star article earlier this year aroused my mind titled ‘Rental suite fee evicted’.

The story addressed an emergency, which is a serious housing crisis, concerned about the impact this may have on the living conditions renters may be subject to.

I was born in Vernon, raised in the Coldstream, schooled here and degreed at UBC.

Recently, I was walking the streets in Vernon just looking.

Plenty did I see.

Making the best of what is a crushing blow.

The photo attached to this letter is not to show the lingering gravity to the insensitivity to Vernon’s downtown homeless or the dire living conditions they may be subject to.

Instead, it is to show the reality of the situation of a plight to survival in our modern city.

One can’t help but feel the pain and suffering these individuals go through in their daily lives.

Pushed from pillar to post. Shopping cart to shopping cart.

One must gather hope and begin again and faith one must rely.

These individual cannot be kicked into the long grass.

There is hope in a place, however dark.

It cannot be right to be teetering on the brink and rowing against the tide.

It appears in my opinion in Vernon there is an oasis of a dark social crisis.

It dates back to the 1960s problems then and a challenge to fix now.

Life must be faced as it is. We are all in this together.

We need parity of esteem not sticking plasters.

In my opinion, the system is cumbersome and bureaucratic to deliver.

As the disadvantaged slide through the mechanics of paramedics, the police, the emergency department, hospital ward, physio, rehabilitation, respite care, counselling clinics and so on.

Without the right government investing in funding in place the system cannot deliver on outcomes.

The disadvantaged are the hub of our community.

We need to get into reverse gear to a position where these individuals are an integral useful part of this community.

These people need to be embraced, welcomed, loved, looked after and taken care of.

To be seen as a resource not a burden.

This photo’s message is clear.

Let us all work together to craft a long-term 10-year plan for human social care that contributes to the economic well-being of our community.

We are brimming with ideas. Let’s grasp the nettle.

Standing still is not an option.

Ed RR Witzke


READ MORE: Finding a home ‘impossible’ in Vernon


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

20-year-Morning Star veteran
Read more