LETTER: Advocate committed to homeless cause

I’ve now read letters two weeks in a row slamming Chrissy Brett, so I’m going to tell you what I know. I met Chrissy last winter when the homeless camp arrived in Gyro Park and spent about 10 days there. There were about 14 tents, and their time in Gyro passed without any problems at all.

I sit on the board of the Cadboro Bay Residents Association. We were informed in advance by Saanich Police that the campers were headed our way, and I was tasked by CBRA to communicate with the campers.

I met them the bitterly cold night they arrived, and that’s the first and only time I spoke with Chrissy. We talked about this and that, and while we talked a car pulled in and two men got out. The older one approached Chrissy and explained that the younger man was his son. The son was freshly released from jail, was not welcome at home and was also barred from all the shelters due to behaviour issues. He was being dumped off into Chrissy’s care. She told him to “set up over there” and that was that. I asked Chrissy: Does that happen often? She told me it was a regular occurrence.

I dropped by the camp every day and got to know a couple of the campers. One was a drywaller, and I believe he was actually employed but was unable to find an apartment.

Now, I understand that Regina Park in mid-summer is not the same as Gyro Park in December. There are more campers and the issues are multiplied. However, these people, despite the nuisance they present, are our brothers and sisters and deserve our respect. Homelessness is a tough problem, and the solution will be found by better minds than mine; I have no idea what is to be done. But, I do know this. Based on my very short acquaintance with Chrissy Brett, I can say she is a committed advocate for these people who is actually walking the talk and making a difference. So think about that before you throw any shade her way.

Jerry Donaldson


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