LETTER: Province of B.C. needs to step up to deal with homelessness

Alberni-Clayoquot health region’s high numbers are too high, says writer

To the Editor,

As reported by the province in late March, the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District has the third highest level per capita of homeless people in our province.

READ MORE: 23,000 people experienced homelessness in B.C. in 2019, new data shows

I can attest to seeing a number of people sleeping in their cars in front of local parks in Port Alberni.

I wonder if many of these vehicles are even safe to sleep in. Some of them are compact cars.

It seems to me the province should have teams in cars with a nurse to check on the health and general welfare of these people, i.e. vaccination status, blood pressure, etc. It would be also helpful to have a mechanic check these vehicles over mechanically, i.e. exhaust systems, oil changes, etc., to ensure they are safe to live in. If people can’t afford anything but a car to live in, the least we can do is help them do it safely, while we consider bringing thousands from the Ukraine to provide housing for.

I also understand there are hundreds living in vehicles on logging roads as well. I doubt if many even know, acknowledge, or even care about this fact.

I think the issue of homelessness and the actions of our provincial government, who should be addressing this issue, is shameful. It should not be put on the back of municipalities or regional government, who don’t have the resources, or expertise to address. Municipal property taxes are already out of control, as are regional taxes.

Tom Gowan,

Beaver Creek

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional DistrictHomelessnessPort Alberni