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LETTER: Homeless can't be 'ignored, hidden, neglected'

'There needs to be more homeless shelters, and those homeless shelters need to be fully inclusive and more humane,' says reader
2022-05-26 Dwntwn Homeless MB
A homeless person sleeps in the doorway of a church in downtown Barrie.

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There is no excuse for homeless people to be ignored, hidden and neglected. There needs to be more homeless shelters, and those homeless shelters need to be fully inclusive and more humane. Homeless people should be provided with the help they need to get back up on their feet as soon as possible.

The people that get rejected by homeless shelters are usually the ones who need it most, so why are they not getting the help they need? 

Many think that making homeless shelters and providing homeless people with the help they need is expensive, but there is already a lot of money being spent on moving the homeless around and arresting them. “Cost of Criminalization of Homelessness” has an excellent infographic that clearly shows you how much money is spent just on arresting homeless people. The infographic states that they tracked only 37 homeless people who were arrested and how much money was spent on their arrests. The total was $6,417,905. 

All of that money being spent on their arrest is not solving any problems, and that money should be used for providing them with their basic needs instead.

I would like to point out that hiding the homeless away from the public eye is not going to solve the problem.

Another thing I would like to point out is that homeless people themselves are not the problem. The problem is the fact that basic shelter and health care are not accessible for everyone. 

If someone has a mental disorder, a drug problem or some other issue and chooses to be homeless or cannot stay in a shelter without putting others at risk then they should be receiving psychiatric treatment instead of just being left on the streets or arrested.

The homeless are vulnerable, which means anyone who is capable of helping the vulnerable should have the responsibility to do so. The homeless have been neglected and mistreated for far too long and it is time for a change.

Sierra “Ruthann” McDonald