Coun. Scott Anderson strikes me as one who is, thankfully, able to reason beyond feelings.
His recent article in the letters section demonstrates a man who understands the dilemma from both sides.
Compassion is allowing the homeless to camp in parks, specifically when no indoor shelters are available, yet still requiring them to keep things tidy and orderly for everyone else to enjoy.
Is this not the same standard we have for those who are not setting up camps? Pick up our garbage; don’t leave anything dangerous laying around and leave things looking the same or better.
Compassion is not foregoing the need to teach responsibility.
It’s unfair for us to judge just how someone became homeless or in need of a treatment centre or mental health intervention, yet handing out everything for free with none to little expectation of responsibility on their part only encourages this lifestyle to continue. Compassion loves on people regardless of their status, situation, current lifestyle looks or actions.
But when you truly care about someone, you teach and show them a better way to live and that way is through loving your neighbour as yourself.
Has it been made clear to these campers that they are more than welcome to share the parks with everyone else, but that we are all responsible to keep things clean and picked up?
My thanks to Mr. Anderson for demonstrating a desire to understand both sides.