Understanding homelessness is key to solutions in Alberni

Public is encouraged to develop understanding about homelessness issues in the Alberni Valley.

Because the causes of homelessness are complex and wide-ranging, solutions to the problems associated with homelessness exist at a variety of levels. Our actions as individuals, community members and citizens can make a difference.

Here are a few suggested activities to help each citizen get started in addressing homelessness.

Develop understanding.

Many people turn a cold shoulder when they see a homeless person on the street. Some think that people are on the street because they choose to be there. Others find it difficult to see people suffering and aren’t sure how to respond.

This is why starting up a conversation with people on the street can be difficult, but we each have a lot to learn from doing just that. It’s true that some people will not want to engage with strangers, but others need to feel a sense that members of their community care about them.

Cultivate compassion and caring.

People who are homeless have stressed that tolerance, compassion, and empathy are important in their lives, and that a nurturing environment helps to create a community where homeless people feel a sense of belonging.

Many people who work with people who are homeless report that they have been changed by the experience.

Over time, people have a low regard for themselves and they’ve been through abusive situations so they treat their environment the same way.

They leave a disaster behind them and others in the community come into contact with it and that’s how conflict happens.

Not everyone can reach out and be understanding.

All of us need to be educated about homeless people so that we don’t stereotype them. Interacting with homeless people, teaches us to be more compassionate and understanding.

After all, many people are a paycheque away from homelessness themselves.

For more information on housing issues, please call 250-723-4050 to make an appointment.

 

This article was provided by Petra Barnfield, housing advocate with Kuu-us Crisis Line Society.

Just Posted

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

BUSINESS BEAT: New board room at Steampunk Café has nautical flair

Teresa Bird writes about business happenings once a month in the Alberni Valley News

ARTS AROUND: Artists invited to exhibit work at Port Alberni gallery

The Rollin Art Centre is now accepting applications for the 2020 calendar year

Port Alberni millwright brings Beatles’ iconic yellow submarine to life for ice show

Beatlemania is set to take the ice on Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Alberni Valley Multiplex

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Missing Surrey snowshoer caught in avalanche found dead on Vancouver mountain

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Most Read