Former newspaper editor and mayor of Kamloops Mel Rothenburger, weighs in. Article excerpts below.
There’s evidence that putting the addicted and the mentally ill together in large apartment buildings makes it harder, not easier, to get well.
A study I’ll refer to below found that 80 per cent of those experiencing homelessness, mental illness and addiction in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side have moved there from elsewhere.
Based on interviews with hundreds of homeless in San Francisco, is that there isn’t a straight line from poverty to homelessness and addictions. It’s addiction that causes poverty and homelessness, not the other way around.
Packing the homeless into dedicated facilities exposes them all to each other’s issues. Which brings up the case of Dr. Julian Somers, a clinical psychologist and Simon Fraser University professor. Earlier this week, a National Post column told of his claim that the B.C. government is, in effect, censoring him for promoting the view that the province’s approach to homelessness is ineffective.