Our civic government voted against the rezoning application from Abbotsford Community Services -- a rezoning application necessary to bring a 20-bed housing facility to life. The project, aimed at getting men who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless into a safe and supported environment, was burned to the ground by egos, pipe dreams, and private agendas. Why must our leaders be so consistently blind to the call of justice and mercy? Why must our city consistently violate and victimize the humans living in our alleys and ditches?
In Abbotsford, a letter allegedly from "The Abbotsford Downtown Homeless Association" was recently delivered to the doors of local businesses. The letter was snapped and posted all over Facebook, sparking huge debates regarding the homeless in the city. Before seeing this post, I had no idea there was so much going on with the homeless in Abbotsford.
The multiple tragedies faced by individuals living on the margins are further complicated by homelessness, which is in itself disempowering, painful, destructive, and unpredictable. It is in this pandemonium that there is little opportunity to reclaim personhood, control and clarity which is necessary to make healthier and richer decisions. They are barely recognized as persons let alone seen as having the capacity to make choice. There is so little our friends on the streets can take responsibility for nor are they even given many opportunities to claim responsibility.
Homelessness is a national crisis. It affects every Canadian directly. It is time to be bold and courageous, to seek out alternative solutions and radical options. We must take risks and find new ways to work together to bring our nation to a better place where everyone is valued and cared for regardless of circumstance or choice.