Something good may come out of this

Staying on the positive side of things…… some injudicious remarks by a town councillor a couple of months ago may result in something good happening. That’s our view and it is shared by Marilyn McRee and others.

McRee got an idea after the issue blew up on social media last week. A First Nation in the area took exception to something the councillor said at a meeting about homeless people. Among other things, it called for a boycott of Slave Lake businesses. The councillor was quick to apologize.

Recognizing an opportunity, McRee decided to issue a challenge to area businesses and individuals to raise funds for a homeless shelter. When the community gets behind such a project, she said, it usually happens. There are plenty of examples, including the animal shelter. Swimming pool, library, field house, off-leash dog park – among others. In all cases, the general tax base was not asked or expected to foot the bill.

Solving homelessness is of course much more complicated than any of those other challenging tasks. It’s also much more complicated than anything that can be solved by mere dollars.

But money can certainly help! Especially if there are start-up costs involved in a new, permanent location. So let’s get behind this.

Homelessness (not racism) is the issue at hand and finding a solution – however ‘band-aid’ it might be – ought to be possible.

It has been said over and over – to get people off the streets what you need first is shelter to keep them from freezing to death. Then some sort of secure transitional housing. Then all sorts of services – counselling and other treatments. It’s a long hard road, but it has to start somewhere.

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