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Wednesday, October 21, 2020
   
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Let's put Jimmy Pattison on the Homeless File
U.S. President Barak Obama has branded him a corporate welfare bum --- town gossips claim he is a trillionaire --- the Old Timer lives in subsidized housing and spends his days dumpster diving

25-Oct-06 -

Every night, as the Victorian autumn becomes wetter and becomes colder, over 500 "homeless" stinking souls grovel about in shelters or shiver and rot on Victoria's streets in constant fear of beatings and death. No one really knows who they all are - 40% may be drug addicts - another 40% may be foolishly released schizophrenics - some are simple-minded - some are muddle-headed- some are vagabonds who hate living under permanent roofs. The good citizens of Victoria and British Columbia don't give much of a damn - unless a beggar hassles a well-to-do pensioner, unless a retailer loses business, unless a protester invades private property - Victorians bury their heads in sand while, each cold, wet night, fellow humankind shiver, grovel, rot, shake.

The Victoria Times Colonist dithers. "Homelessness affects everyone," pontificates this morning's Times Colonist editorial but the editorial then prescribes paralysis by analysis - lots of anal retentive studies, lengthy, costly - justifys the Times Colonist:

Ultimately, though, simply finding a building isn't the real solution, because it doesn't address the root problems. Homelessness is a complex issue, and is a symptom rather than a disease. There are many different forces that have driven people to live on our streets, and we need to deal with those causes rather than with the end result.

The British Columbia government wants the federal governments' Multiple Unit Residential Building (MURB) tax shelter program restored. But it will take five years for MURBs to create one unit of affordable housing.

B.C. mayors, their Victoria annual meeting drowned out by a homeless riot, want the province to pour money into "affordable housing". How long will it take to build one unit of affordable housing?

The B.C. Liberal Party's annual meeting has better things to talk about i.e.:

the present system of selling firewood on a first-come first-served basis in the provincial parks is not working, and the quality and content of the bundles is inconsistent

No, tonight's homelessness doesn't affect everyone. Not unless Times Colonist's readers start to feel the pain of the homeless this very cold, wet tonight.

Now - right now - why not shame someone who knows how to get things done into finding these poor, suffering souls a place to sleep. How about bringing Jimmy Pattison on side. Jimmy is a can-do born-again Christian - to Jimmy the suffering of these poor unfortunates should be top priority. The Times Colonist admits there are many empty buildings in Victoria: "What about the offices that are empty at night?" they ask. "Or the schools that are no longer used? With heat and washrooms, they would make ideal shelters for the homeless." By simply, cutting through red tape, making phone-calls, kicking butt, someone like Jimmy Pattison can find these poor souls clean, warm, safe beds within a week.

Then get on with long-term solutions.

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