No simple plan to solve homelessness

Easy fixes seldom work to solve difficult problems

Re: Tough love a better plan for city’s tent dwellers (Letters, July 29)

While it’d be really nice to think that simple solutions work, they seldom do and can in fact cause more harm than good. Letters such as this one only perpetuate thinking that frankly isn’t very helpful.

Addressing homelessness, much like mental health, substance-use challenges and many other human “afflictions,” require comprehensive efforts that include, but aren’t limited to, minimizing the potential for harm and providing opportunities for people to feel valued and supported.

Some taxpayers (thankfully many), including yours truly, believe strongly that “one measure of civilization is how well we treat the most vulnerable members of our society.”

Don’t get me wrong, it will be a great day when tent cities (or food banks and other life-saving social services) are no longer required. In the interim, there’s plenty of work to do and simplistic thinking, like that reflected in the “tough love” and “just say no” type of approaches, isn’t helpful.

Cindy Andrew


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