Civic suggestion

LETTER: Why not let the homeless camp out in the Civic Arena?

What to do with the old Civic Arena? What can we do about the homelessness in Vernon? Would it be possible to remove the roof from the concrete walls thus any structural foundation concerns would be eliminated? Remove all interior structures except change/shower washroom facilities and any spaces that may be used for office/support service requirements. These may require reroofing on a limited basis. This would leave a very large open space suitable for camping if provided with a well draining artificial surface. The homeless could be invited to camp there and avail themselves of the support services that would be housed on site. Limited medical support could also be stationed within. Space could be allocated for the secure storage of peoples belongings. Yes it would require security/staffing but that would be offset by the savings realized by the city not having to chase after and cleanup many unsightly camps that keep moving around town. The RCMP could also realize potential benefits. The environment would benefit as the damage to trees, streams etc would be curtailed. This could prove to be a great stepping stone for the homeless so inclined to position themselves to enter the workforce and hopefully move to permanent housing again with the help of in house support staff.

Also, the city, having provided an enclosed safe place to pitch a tent could feel justified in moving homeless camps out of public places. The public wins, the homeless win and so does the city. Obviously, at this point my potential solution may be overly simplistic but with the great minds available to the city the details could be fleshed out and put into operation in short order.

L. N. French

Vernon

I was wondering after I read what the funds from the Lottery were used for like sports and various other causes, why couldn’t some of all that on going money be used for helping the homeless! I’m sure some construction people would know how to build efficient, dwellings that would suit the needs of these people and then there could be doctors to check them out and see how many of these unfortunate people could be helped! Since 90 per cent of them have a diagnosed emotional illness, then that means they need help to get settled again! When we can find the land (even in Vancouver and other crowded cities) and money to build Olympic villages, why can’t we do the same for these our fellow citizens! Like one career gal said, ‘Don’t look down on them, most of us are about three paychecks from being in their position!’

Kathy Bachman

There is so much written about them! They can be broken down into two categories those who want to actually make a difference and those who just want to live that way and are satisfied with leaving garbage around.

The same goes for RVers who while travelling could use a rest at a Walmart parking lot to shop and just mellow out! But as you look around you can see some who are actually living there, how can you tell? By the garbage and mess they have thrown around, then they just leave the mess and move on.

Walmart is tired of this and so am I. This is what I see when I enter Vernon, sure there is people down and out but they don’t leave garbage and other stuff for us or the city to clean up. The people who are actually down I’m sure they don’t leave messes and try to make it habitual. There is a difference between these people and the ones who stay and leave garbage, like at the Walmart parking lots.

Bill Thorick

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