Reading letters to the editor from all those folks who appear to be extremely concerned about the plight of the homeless I can’t help but think that I’m living completely out of touch with society.
Knowing several seniors living in poverty, even though they keep up the appearance of being alright, be it that they can barely afford rent and often have to forgo medication to buy food, I know them to be there through unfortunate circumstances, divorce or the death of the spouse. Now of course they are the invisible poor unlike the citizens we observe pushing their (stolen) shopping carts living on the side of the road or in a park with likeminded cohorts, creating little villages. Playground closed because a child got pricked with a discarded needle, park attendance down to a trickle. Then, when one OD’s on say Fentanyl there is a gasp of horror and a call for the government to “do something.” Anywhere I go, be it Vernon or Kelowna there are help wanted signs and orchards are desperate to find help and have to bring Mexican workers in to do the work. When walking downtown I get accosted with a request for “some change” by men wearing $100 runners and fancy jackets. So give me a break, we should be more concerned about the “silent” poor, single parent families, veterans, seniors etc. I am all for helping deserving people who have fallen through the cracks and have to rely on the food bank to supplement their meagre income and we do so through donations to the mission, salvation army, covenant house and other worthy causes, but I do not feel compelled to feel compassion or help physically able men (for the most part) to provide a free ride. Be more concerned with the paramedics called upon to attend to these misunderstood men (and some women) to save their lives.