Community needs to embrace facility

Resident defends the location of a recovery centre in a Vernon neighbourhood

I was delighted to read Judy Shirley’s letter, a community member, in support of the planned John Howard recovery centre.

I am saddened by the NIMBY’s who actually bemoan the fact that there are churches, schools, parks, daycares and even liquor stores in the neighbourhood. It sounds perfect for men who are wanting to take some responsibility for their drinking problems.

A normal and supportive environment is what all of us need when we slip up and get back on our feet.

The sad part is when our sons, brothers, fathers, uncles, and grandfathers move from addiction to recovery and we are not there to welcome them, introduce ourselves and our kids, and talk openly in our schools, daycares and churches about the dangers of addictions and the importance of our love and support to those who are healing.

The values of compassion, caring, empathy, and forgiveness seem lost to our concern about the value of our properties. As with those mean corporations that we love to hate, it is all “about the money.”

It is a well-known belief that a society is only as good as the way it treats its most vulnerable – its children, its seniors, its mentally challenged, its poor and those who are in recovery or healing (from many ailments).

What would happen if the whole community showed up individually or in a group to welcome these new vulnerable ones with open hearts?

Suddenly, the fear might melt – on both sides – and this community might be on the cutting-edge of changing the way communities work to support each other. Indeed, this community might replace the failing churches who cannot seem to speak out any more.

What a neat, sweet place to live!

Those silent drinkers, wife abusers, drug users and vulnerable victims in this community might even be turned around.

Remember, if you don’t get caught, you don’t get to recover.

Untreated family dysfunctions cost a family far more than a property value taking a dip.

Property values fall when there is failure, not success.

This recovery program will succeed if the local people embrace the values it demonstrates for all of us: that we deserve support, not just from our families and professionals, but from friends in our neighbourhood.

Mr. Rogers taught us this well.

How can we forget?

Our children will be ashamed of us when they grow up and struggle with the many addictions that life offers them, including selfishness.

Will we reject them in the same way: close up our churches, lock up the children, and send them away from normalcy, as if they did not deserve the same chances as all people to heal from within a community?

The opposite of love is fear.

On which side do you stand?

Get out from the middle.

They do not mix.

Dave Bosomworth

Vernon