What Do You Think: Is This The Abbotsford You Know?

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  • First off, I’m a homeowner, a taxpayer, a Christian, a pretty average guy with grown kids and mess of grandkids. I’ve never been homeless and never been institutionalized. If that adds any credibility to what I have to say, fine. Personally, I see myself as a human being who should be doing more to make a difference. I admit, sadly, that I’ve kept myself cocooned from many social ills for too long.

    I don’t know what the solution to the homeless problem is. However, the first problems is how we view people who are homeless. If we see any human beings as problems to be solved, WE have a problem. Only when we see them as people like ourselves will we take the first step towards helping. When they become names and faces, we take another step. Any solutions will be personal journeys for those who are homeless along with their neighbours, us. Us-and-them never solved anything.

    So I went down to the camp and spoke to three people. The first was a fellow who was providing support and keeping an eye on the residents. I explained I just wanted to find out for myself what was happening in my own city. He introduced me to a lady who obviously had mental issues. She was very friendly and loud, and the others I spoke to were clear that they understood she had some severe issues, but they treated her like a human being regardless. I also spoke to a young man. I asked him where he was from, we chatted for a while. He was friendly, articulate, mostly really cold. I felt safe, I felt respected. It’s time I went down again and talked to some more of my neighbours. Maybe I’ll see you there…

  • Kat O says:

    “How can you worship a homeless man on a Sunday and then ignore one on a Monday?”
    An absolutely scenario appropriate question.
    A few years back my aunt told me she was in Vancouver, and she was a bit distraught, as she felt she was “begotten” by the devil. My aunt is part of the long present and deeply God fearing Mennonite community here in this valley, known around the world as a bible belt.
    What happened is as she was passing a homeles man, she was compelled, as she put it to me, to give him $10.00. She felt the devil was in him and the devil made her do it.
    I asked her to describe the homeless man.
    Her description was as follows:
    Well, he had dirty clothes, long stringy brown hair, dirty sack cloth shirt, old dirty jeans, and a pair of worn out old brown sandals, and he was thin and dirty.
    I said to my aunt that aside from the jeans, she had just described someone to me that sounded very much like the description of Jesus, who was indeed a man on the move, for the most part without a stable home.
    My God fearing aunt let out a gasp as she had not thought of this until I said it, and she was left completely confused.
    Given this experience with my aunt, I was left to wonder, are church leaders failing to correctly convey God’s message?
    Rich or poor, we are supposed to be all equal. And what of the biblically spurned phrase “but for the grace of God, there go I?”
    Where is the practice what you preach mentality in this biblical community with all it’s multimillion dollars worth of worship buildings referred to as churches, where, according to the bible, all are supposed to be welcome. Why then a “dress code” to attend church?
    We need to get away from the doublespeak that is so pervassive in this community. Hipocracy prevails, and there is nothing biblically correct about the way the less fortunate are being treated here. No matter what they did, they need a hand up, not continual boots to the back of the head. Separate and segragate mentality is what we seem to be employing here. Biblically incorrect.
    I know my comments will not sit well with a lot of people. I do not care. I am no one special, but neither is anyone else. We are all equal in this world, something we should all remember, acknowledge, and honour.

  • Deceit in Drugs says:

    It is very unfortunate but our children are growing up in a time, where the “drug culture’ is alive and well.

    We, as parents must take the opportunity to educate our children
    about the negative affects of drugs, but, also, teach compassion towards our fellow human beings, who are less fortunate than us.

    I say this because, I many times think about the fact that anyone of us
    could end up homeless at any time in our lives and think how I would
    feel about being abandoned and forgotten.

    Some of the comments are a very clear reflection of the lack of
    understanding about what it is like to be homeless, addicted and/or have mental illness….hungry, cold, feeling sick, yearning for
    drugs to feel better and sleeping on the hard, wet ground at night.

    It is easy for people to judge in a negative light, when they simply think
    the homeless as a problem, which are better dealt with by a “out of sight out of mind” attitude.

    These people are not going away and the city could easily fix the
    problem by allocating a permanent campsite for the homeless away
    from residential/business areas in the city.

    The homeless are raising an awareness of their plight by camping
    in Jubilee park. The homeless would not be in the park, if the city had dealt with the homeless issue, years ago.

    I say to Mr.. Anderson: I commend Meghann for teaching her children compassion for others and what they see in the campsite is no different
    thanwhat our children see daily in our neighborhoods and in our downtown and in the news, daily.

    I, myself have been to the campsite and the residents were polite and
    eager to have conversations about their wishes for a permanent site so
    they do not have to continually live with the threat of having to move.

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