Building A Community Starts At The Bottom – Dan Bue

Dan Bue says that building community starts with helping people. Helping those at the bottom – the poor, the disadvantaged, the mentally ill, the drug and alcohol dependent and the homeless.

“Helping those at the bottom helps everyone above them,” says Bue.

“We see homeless people setting up permanent residence on our public boulevards; for years we have talked, with nothing constructive done to remedy the problem. Abbotsford has been in the national news for the heartless way we treat our homeless,” he says.

“Many of those we are victimizing are struggling to survive, straining the resources of our Food Bank and our social services. We can no longer ignore the issue or wish it away,” says Bue.

“Other cities have developed solutions that work well without stressing the surrounding businesses or residential communities. Let’s consider their lead, adapt and start fixing things,” he said.

Bue says it is time for someone with some experience working with the marginalized to play a role in shaping municipal policy towards the homeless, while he is quick to add that he is no expert on the conditions, needs or particular circumstances of many of the men and women living on the streets.

“But I do know, from long experience, that criminalizing social issues like mental illness, poverty, addiction and homelessness is simply not right … and it’s not working,” he says.

Bue started a company in 1994 which focused on the disadvantaged: foster children, rehab, brain injuries and senior care. He operated it out of a building in the downtown core and became a director of the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association (ADBA).

His business succeeded, he says, because of his commitment to finding solutions to problems, no matter how big or difficult and, because it solved problems, it grew from a one-man operation, to over 60 staff.

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