(This post was written when we were still living in Abbotsford, several years prior to our move to Hedley.)
Last week we were given one more reminder that we are not grappling seriously with a significant societal failing. Another homeless person has died on our streets.
I noted with interest that in The Abbotsford News (October 31,2009), the account of this most recent death was juxtaposed to a story about the three Plan A projects. Reading the two articles, I concluded that as a society we have learned a good deal about creating impressive structures, but relatively little about developing communities that enable all citizens to live productive lives.
This is not to in any way disparage the efforts of committed individuals, churches and other organizations providing shelter and various kinds of assistance to street people. I do feel, however, that we are doing little more than talking about the problem.
The well intentioned comments by some community leaders when Compassion Park was in the news several years ago, is an example of this. Our track record since then has been dismal. The same is true in Vancouver and throughout Canada.
As a society we have had a vision for building expensive structures for our pleasure. Where is our vision for dealing with a cancer that is endangering the safety of our citizens and the well-being of our entire nation?