EDITORIAL – Mandate community service for vandals, mess-makers

(Image: CFJC Today)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

LET’S BUST A MYTH about street people.

I mean the homeless as well as those who are housed in shelters but spend a lot of time on the street. The myth is that “the rest of us” regard them as worthless and undeserving, as grubby low-lifes.

That’s not the way it is. “The rest of us” base our opinions on actions, not appearances. We don’t want our community vandalized, are disgusted when human feces appears on sidewalks. We worry when business owners are threatened in their stores.

We’re dismayed when windows are broken, and when we’re verbally harassed.

By no means do I suggest all street folks do these things but for those who do, it comes down to lack of respect for others and for community. When that respect isn’t given, we get angry. If the street folks would respect the community that has offered them food and shelter, if they didn’t make such a mess, that would be good enough for us.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9483 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on EDITORIAL – Mandate community service for vandals, mess-makers

  1. I,m still an island guy, Give em their own island. There are some big ones up the coast with probably not a soul on them. Give them what they need to survive comfortably,and all the free drugs they want They can have their own government and run their lives any way they want. Of course one stipulation would be,no boats allowed.

  2. John Noakes // July 6, 2022 at 1:07 PM // Reply

    I guess if someone is able bodied enough to vandalize property they should be able bodied enough to perform community service work.

  3. You really can’t make them do it…even at $ 25 per hour, or more.

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