The December 31st edition of ‘The Vancouver Sun talks about a mother, beaten to death, while waiting for her son, outside the Newton recreation centre.

 
One of the folk interviewed said she may close her doors as a result of rising crime. “We used to have baby strollers lined up outside … now we have people waiting for drug buys,”……the area is plagued by drug dealing, homelessness and prostitution….”I was threatened by a fellow, that this was his turf, and he was not going away.”
 
Another man said the area has a lot of crime and it can be scary.
 
That is the other side of the story to Abbotsford Homeless, that media loves to depict as poor sweet, gentle folk, –– just needing a little kindness and love from the loveless Bible-Belt Christians.
 
When the Salvation Army wanted the City to re-zone part of Cyril Avenue, beside the railroad tracks, council held a public hearing. Many local residents vehemently opposed this change.  One such opponent, a city employee, told me that already, –even before the anticipated increased attraction of more drug-addicted and homeless people, his home, and those of his neighbours were regularly targeted by thieves.  He said that every day he felt sick knots in his insides, at the fear of what he and his wife and children might come home to, as they left for work and school each morning.
 
A tradesman who lives downtown, routinely has his tools stolen from his property and from his truck.  Insurance rates rise with too many claims so he just absorbs the loss himself. This guy works hard, has no company benefits, and is not rich.
 
There is plenty of money to help the helpless among us.  We need look no further than CEOs of crown corporations.  Citizens of BC are taxed almost half their annual wages.  Who should help the poor?  On the one hand media tends to mock and scorn Christ and the church,…… until a problem arises in society. Then the  bleating begins about how the churches should step up to help the poor.  Actually, that is what Jesus Christ does command. 
 
I don’t belong to any denomination, and have no home church, but true Christianity does indeed get into the world with the love of God.  But those who take the Bible seriously, will not blow a trumpet as they help others.  You won’t often see their good deeds to praise them. 
 
But why stop at Christians, Abbotsford is approximately 25% Sikhs?  Or how about all those non-religious folk? And what about all those service clubs who get tax-exemptions? Put some of those spacious government buildings to use. From a heavily-taxed populace, no one segment should be singled out to deal with homelessness – if you absolve government of doing the job we pay them to do.
 
Mike Archer, at the on-line Abbotsford Today, has done more than anyone to bring a spotlight onto our city’s homeless.  Sometimes he’s over the top in his raging, but maybe this will work towards a lasting answer.  Mike is wrong to insist on a needle exchange.  We know that alcohol and drugs are the major reason so many people are unable to fend for themselves in this world.  Deal with that rot!  Drug dealers drive around in expensive cars, buy homes and land – with cash.  Most of the big players are known to the police, but our insane ‘justice system’ allows hard-care criminals to continue in their lavish life-styles, while they feast on the rotting bodies of addicts.
 
The yipping from the press about Abbotsford’s selfish citizens and callous council does not begin to touch the core issue.  All twelve-step groups attest to the need for abstinence.  Throw the dealers in jail.  Get rid of incompetent judges.  We have amply paid the Provincial Government to provide the care needed. To have any human being shivering out in the cold and rain is surely a sign of incompetence at the highest level.  Every person in need is eligible for a minimum subsidy, But the oversight of where that money goes is almost non-existent.  
 
We have many ‘dirty houses’ here.  These are un-registered flop houses.  In one that Councillor John Smith, to his credit, dealt with, the owner had for two years stuffed some 20 men into a large ‘single-family dwelling’.  He’d take their welfare cheque, send them out to scrounge for food, and at the slightest infraction he’d kick the guy out, keep the money, and fill the spot with another warm-body who would be required to turn over his government cheque.  The wealth accumulated by flop-house operators is exponential, compared to the poor dumb bloke who plods to work, so that he can turn half his wages over to the government. 
 
Media coverage tends to suggest this is about poor gentle folk who just need some love, and a hand up.  Wrong though it is,….. that media focus may force us to do something, rather than nothing.  
 
This is primarily about drug-addicts who engage in crime to buy drugs.  Needle-exchange is clearly ridiculous since welfare can’t pay for the drugs to fill those clean needles.  The root problem of homelessness is criminals, – those pushers and dealers who create more addicts, those who force women and young kids to sell their bodies to sex perverts, and those who steal to satisfy the demon cravings.
 
We pay government too much already.  We pay way too much to lawyers and judges who work against societal good – when they  ensure little or no punishment to criminal drug dealers.
 
The problem of homelessness cannot be sloughed off, to be the burden of local governments or private citizens.
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