Our lives are ruled by two things, our heart and our head. We get in trouble though when we allow either to make decisions by itself. Accordingly, this posting will not just be about what our hearts want for the tenters, or for that matter, for all the disenfranchised, but about how to best help Mayor Helps’ tenters.
In the case of Lisa Helps and the disenfranchised, I sincerely believe that her heart is in the right place. However, in promoting the tent city, as her public statements have done, she left her head in a drawer some place. She needed to understand the mindset of the “street” . She needed to realize that only a very few were looking for, and could actually fit into the fabric of, any form of housing.
Earlier today, I received the following tweet from Lisa Helps:
Lisa Helps need to understand that addicts are endlessly creative in their ability to turn anything good you do for them into something to use to further their addictions. Therefore, that she is creating a problem for the city with these tenters. As well, she is enabling the addiction of those she intends to help.
I once saw a crack addict hand her eighteen month old baby off to another addict whom she did not know. She did it so she could go and get high with friends.
I think it is fair to say that by far the largest percentage of those on the street or occupying tent city are where they are because of addiction problems. I personally know at least a dozen of those tenters. As well, having worked with addicts for over fifteen years, I can assure you that nobody can help an addict without treating their addiction. Additionally, unless and until that addict deeply and sincerely wants treatment, any help offered will be misused as a method to feed their addiction. It will not be used to better their life.
Allow me a few examples from real life:
- If you give an addict a pen and paper with which to write his mom, it will be turned into a drug accessory. The cartridge of that pen will be turned into a push stick for a crack pipe. And the barrel of the pen? It will become a hooter with which to chase a dragon of heroin. The paper? It will likely be crumpled up and thrown on the street somewhere or rolled into a tube for a larger hooter.
- If you give an addict a few dollars with which to eat, the dope dealer will soon be using those dollars to re-up supply.
- Even if you give an addict a gift card for a grocery store, the addict will sell that gift card for fifty percent of face value to buy dope. I have even taken addicts to the grocery store and bought food for their kid. If you do so, be sure to talk the store so it will not accept return of the groceries.
- If you help an addict get a place to live, with most addicts, rooms in that residence will be rented to other addicts on a weekly or nightly basis. Or the bedroom will be rented out hourly to a street working lady to ply her trade. Or it will be turned into a crack shack.
- What Lisa Helps doesn’t understand is that homelessness has many causes and we have social services to address those issues. She cannot help those who can’t be helped or who don’t sincerely want to be helped. The solution to homelessness is not as simple as just providing four walls.
Why are there homeless? As I said in a previous blog posting, the reality is that many are homeless because they don’t want to be required to follow rules. For the most part, these tenters don’t want restraints of any nature. They want to make as much noise as they feel like, and at any hour. They want to be allowed to smoke dope in their units and live without restrictions on visitors in those units. Additionally, they don’t want to not be permitted to slam doors or scream. And they don’t want to be forced to refrain from violence, etc.
- Others are homeless because they embrace the rebelliousness and/or freedom of living on the street
- Still others are homeless because they cannot maintain a room or an apartment while moving in and out of jail.
- Even others are homeless because they are totally anti-social.
- Then there are some who are homeless because they want you to feel sorry for them.
- Most are homeless because they prefer their drug habits to an apartment.
- All of that does not take into account the acceptance that some feel by squatting with their comrades or the small number who actually require mental health treatment.
Experience proves that most addicts will maintain their habits until they have hit their personal bottom. For a very few, living in a courthouse tent might be that bottom. For most though, the courthouse tent city is just another thing they can misuse in order to make their addiction more comfortable. So, tent city helps them avoid the bottom that might actually drive them into recovery.
All of the above is the problem which Lisa Helps. She performs her duties from her heart, but not from her head. She needs to run the city and let the addiction specialists deal with the homeless and with addictions.
Lisa Helps says she is looking for a solution to the tenters. There is only one solution at this point and it involves police action.
The tenters, as well the pot shops [she has yet to voice the pot shops as a problem though] are going nowhere until VicPD and/or the RCMP become involved. In fact, these problems are only going to grow. In short order, they will progressively destroy the City of Victoria. It will become known as a tourist destination for drugs and the ideal home for protesters and insurrectionists. We need to put an end to:
Assaults on our Schools and Neighborhoods.
Those are my opinions
What are yours?
Like me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter @HannonHal
You may post your comments below