Back to top

LETTER: Time for straight talk about shelter needs in Castlegar

Dear editor,

Shelters are not going away anytime soon, in fact, you will probably hear more about them.

How do we make sure they are successful?

We inolve all the stakeholders - and the community is a huge stakeholder. Its time for a discussion. We all need to show compassion, respect and tolerance, but that's a two-way street.

The opiod crisis and Covid have wreaked havoc on our social systems, services are harder to access, rents are high and those living in poverty feel it.

Now having said that, there are zero excuses to allow for poor behavior of anyone using the shelter. Most people using services are acutely aware of right and wrong, so there is a responsibilty that lies with them as well. Addiction and mental heath need to be addressed by professionals, no exceptions, we need to allocate the services needed that will give them the skills/tools to move forward.

We then need to have housing for the them. Poverty, addiction, mental health are communtiy issues, we need to to work hand in hand if we are going to be successful. Open. honest. frank conversations need to happen, in my not-so-humble opinion.

Deb McIntosh

Community Harvest Food Bank

Former city councillor