Brent D’argis’ experience with a mentally troubled homeless person near Cuthbert Holmes park illustrates why throwing money at the homeless problem will not help. That individual needs psychological help, perhaps is a candidate for the stable safe environment the B.C. government is again providing – residential institutions.
Some people may just need pointers to resources, while others need education in life skills, and some need psychological help. (Abuse of intoxicants is a common cause of severe financial problems – that comes from thinking and values. Twenty-five per cent of deaths of homeless people in B.C. are attributed to intoxicants, but I suggest a high proportion of the “natural causes” category is the result of the general health effects.)
Lethbridge Alberta’s program of helping people get the advice, education, and medical/psychological help they need is instructive (housing is only one part of an integrated program).
As for the police, I am puzzled at apparent changes in their performance. The Saanich News has reported over the years that police try to keep aware of locations, and are tipped off abut troubled campers by others – acting against crime and dangerous individuals such as the person D’argis encountered is a police responsibility. Certainly police workload would be helped by proper action by other government functions.
Regarding the continuous influx of persons into the tent cities in Victoria, that you mention in your May 18 issue, media have reported that some come from inland and some actually have a local residence but are activists. (Are they helping others or misleading them with bad ideas about life? Remember that neo-Marxist activists tried to intimidate a mayor who had done much for homeless, by vandalizing his residence.)