There was a time when people were taught and expected to be contributing, responsible, productive members of society and the news media is right to expose the blatant disregard some people now have for our public spaces.
A recent article is a perfect example of why people elected to serve communities must ramp up the fight against vagrancy. To me a lot of it starts with throwing taxpayer money out the window on things like needles and social programs that are having many useless, costly, unintended consequences, such as more abuse of drugs than ever before.
The media can also help by refusing to continually paint people as “homeless.” It’s a misnomer and needs to stop. Start helping only those people who are truly interested in helping themselves.
Instead of getting a job, and there’s no shortage of employment in Penticton and area, some people, like the ones I passed today, would rather sit in front of city hall with a cardboard sign.
If not that, it’s reported they go and sit with their pets in front of businesses and try to extort $10 from the owners to move and stop blocking doorways. Is that responsible, productive or contributing?
Instead of insisting people take responsibility for their actions and have pride in being contributing members of our society, now we have facilitators who would rather play hero.
Does that actually make communities safe for everyone? These well-intentioned people are only enablers of those that will or choose not to take responsibility for their own welfare.
Instead of using our public spaces, one solution is those enablers should consider inviting the people they want to help into their own homes.
Certainly there are many other solutions but at least Penticton’s city council and its administration continue to try. It’s hoped the media will also continue to try.