Homeless Day

Poverty Day is October 15.  I’ve been reviewing comments on various social work sites on line and wanted to make a comment:  The government certainly needs to put more effort into the homelessness issue, but NOT into housing so much as treatment beds.  I know from personal experience as a cop working in the Mental Health Emergency Services team for Vancouver PD that most of the people living on the streets are there because (1) they spend every last dime on their drug habit and/or (2) they have mental illness (due to the drugs or exacerbated because of it) and are paranoid and live in a box so “they” can’t find them.  The biggest problem that I had in the 9 years that I spent out there was finding treatment beds for mentally disordered/drug addicted people.  You’re not going to be able to beat the problem if there’s a 9 month waiting list for treatment beds.  Do you realize that for the entire city of Vancouver (population 600,000) there are only 4 detox beds for teens?



3 Responses

  1. that’s awful, charles. i thought vancouver was the ultimate progressive city! great post!

  2. Dear Prin:

    Thanks. Vancouver is progressive in many ways, but one way that it is not is in the lack of resources available for treatment.


  3. Too many NIMBYs, as well. And too many excuses for them to use as roadblocks. Everybody wants something done, but they want somebody else to be doing it, and preferably not within sight or earshot.

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