Dear Editor: This was one of the more vulgar and toxic pieces of literature I have read about the houseless population and drug addiction crisis.
You should be ashamed that this piece was allowed to be published. These are fellow humans you’re talking about. These are people suffering from mental health struggles, various addictions, and physical and mental disabilities just to name a few. They deserve compassion rather than smear campaigns. They deserve a government and a community that cares about them while they’re at low points in their lives. Especially in the middle of a pandemic.
God forbid this writer loses his job, cannot pay his bills, and is put in a similar position as some of these people. I hope someone would offer him a hand rather than writing a horribly insulting op-ed about him.
The Daily Courier has a large following and platform that should be used to advocate and promote love, not hate. I sincerely hope whoever moves into your old office location is more respectful and compassionate than some of your writers seem to be.
Nicole Clark, Kelowna
It only took two seconds for me to gasp at how ignorant the publisher was being.
I understand the frustration, fear, sadness, disgust and everything in between that comes with having people who have no home and have substance abuse problems (oh, wow, look—there is a nice way to put it). I’ve been on their side.
I was 18 years old, homeless. I was hooked on meth because it made me forget how horrible my life is; it made me not feel so cold at night; it made me not feel so starving. People looked at me like I was a monster. I’m now clean, but that doesn’t give me a right to look down on someone who’s not as fortunate as me.
It doesn’t give me a right to call them names and minimize what they’re going through for an article. You have an issue with the homeless, do something about it. Donate food, clothes, blankets, hats, etc. Maybe if someone had a little bit of that, they wouldn’t feel the need to shoot up heroin to escape their sad reality.
Oh and by the way. We won’t miss you.
Autumn Fernandez, Kelowna
Whoever gave the green light to this should be fired or reprimanded severely. Whoever wrote this should take a long look at their morals and be re-evaluated for a job in news.
The piece does not take into account the past trauma of individuals or struggles of addiction and homelessness. It comes off as a privileged garbage person whining that someone with real problems is disturbing their work environment. I hope you get countless more emails like this one. Disgusting.
Shain Gillick, Kelowna
Well written article. If you can’t handle the truth, then you are part of the problem.
It’s gotten to a pretty sad state when I can’t even take my kids downtown in the summertime for fear of what they might see.
Dallas Baskin, Kelowna
Sad that as a society it has come to this. The current system does nothing to encourage people to get better and just enables all the negative aspects.
I have a ton of empathy but just cant help feeling we are going about this all wrong. It just seems to be getting worse and worse. Having been directly impacted several times by having property stolen or damaged has lead to much anger for a system that punishes me for doing the right thing.
Time to look at how our tax dollars can be better spent to actually make a difference to help the marginalized people of society.
Patti Mellish, Kelowna
This article is disgusting. These are human beings you’re writing about, you realize? They’re a part of someone’s family. They matter.
Good riddance to you and your precious downtown office, the true undesirables.
Kate Holden, Kelowna
This is the best article I have ever seen about downtown's crackheads and junkies. They are absolutely correct and everyone saying its “mean spirited;” you bet your bottom dollar it is.
You know how frustrating it must be to try to run a business and have your employees harassed everyday? Shame on everyone making these dumb comments. Good on the Courier for speaking the truth!
Chase LeBlanc, Kelowna
I am so sad to have read this article. I am angry at your words, and I feel that it is extremely irresponsible to use your power and privilege as a journalist to share this opinion and interpretation with the public. It’s honestly just downright mean the way you speak of our community members who are trying their best to stay alive while living rough.
How nice, for you, to sit in your comfortable office or in your warm house, and write about others whom you have no idea about. The language you have chosen to use is awful.
I encourage you to do better for your community. Use your heart, not your mouth.
Kayla Kuyvenhoven, Kelowna
We lived in downtown Kelowna and it’s gotten really bad. I’m thrilled to be moved out of there. Feeling unsafe in your own neighbourhood wears on you after a while. The province is to blame, though. Even if someone wants help with their addiction, they typically have to wait for a couple of months, by which time, they’re fully entrenched in the drugs and likely don’t have the desire to stop anymore.
Taysha Jarrett-Roberts, Kelowna