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 ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.