The push to end homelessness.

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foenix
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

Post by foenix »

Here's that article from pressprogress.......it seems the mayor's motivations are becoming apparent in why he's so vocal about shutting down the shelter.....and he's lying about it....
Just because I’m successful doesn’t mean that I have my own personal opinion on matters that concern the safety and future of my community’
[icon_lol2.gif]

That's definitely "poli-speak" if I ever heard it. Here's more.......
But the homeless shelter also happens to be in close proximity to some of the mayor’s own business and real estate interests, including residential and commercial properties in almost every neighbourhood of the city.

In fact, land title documents obtained by PressProgress show the mayor co-owns at least $1.1 million worth of real estate within walking distance of the shelter. The mayor also owns additional real estate near the shelter whose declared land values are not disclosed on land registry documents.

Vassilaki disputes that his properties are “anywhere near” the homeless shelter, but he acknowledged a few properties on Main Street are within walking distance.

Vassilaki owns one building two blocks away from the shelter on Main Street that houses The Cellar wine bar. The property’s declared land value is $419,500, according to land registry documents.

Vassilaki said he owns 50% of the property, split with his two nephews: “I own the building but not the restaurant,” the mayor told PressProgress.

Another block down Main Street, Vassilaki also owns the Tiffany’s Boutique Mall, a “mini mall” containing several boutique shops and residential apartments.

Local news stories from 2015 reported Vassilaki had spearheaded the purchase of the property. The mayor’s family had previously operated the property as “Tiffany’s Night Club” until 2008.

Vassilaki told PressProgress he currently co-owns the property with three other people. Land registry documents obtained by PressProgress do not indicate the property’s land value.

Vassilaki’s company, Vassilaki Holdings Ltd, is also listed as the owner of land where “Cheers the Church” is located, approximately three blocks away from the homeless shelter. Vassilaki confirmed he is one-third owner of the property, which is also located on the city’s Main Street. The property’s declared land value is not listed in land registry documents obtained by PressProgress.

Another company co-owned by Vassilaki, Vassilaki & Sons Investments Ltd., is listed as the owner of a lot on Martin Streetless than two blocks away from the homeless shelter with a declared land value of $710,000. That lot is home to the local Royal Canadian Legion, which Vassilaki purchased in 2014 and leased back to Legion members on a five-year lease, according to local news reports.

Vassilaki owns another business located outside the city’s downtown area, including the Last Call Liquor Mart.

The Mayor insists his push to remove the homeless shelter from the neighbourhood is unrelated to his real estate and business interests on Main Street.

“Just because I’m successful doesn’t mean that I have my own personal opinion on matters that concern the safety and the future of my community,” Vassilaki told PressProgress.

However, Vassilaki’s business interests have landed him in hot water over conflicts of interest in the past — in 2014, as local a city councillor, Vassilaki did not recuse himself before a vote that gave a tax exemption to a property he owns.
https://pressprogress.ca/bc-mayor-owns- ... shut-down/

Seems the mayor has a history of conflict of interest issues including this one.
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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rustled wrote: Aug 3rd, 2021, 8:09 amYou want me to agree their housing-first strategy was successful...
Stop that. It's a cheap tactic. I don't care if you agree or not, I post these links to support my position in a discussion, not to manipulate yours.
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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fluffy wrote: Aug 3rd, 2021, 11:17 am
rustled wrote: Aug 3rd, 2021, 8:09 amYou want me to agree their housing-first strategy was successful...
Stop that. It's a cheap tactic. I don't care if you agree or not, I post these links to support my position in a discussion, not to manipulate yours.
I haven't accused you of manipulation.

It seems to me that your position is that we should all support a housing-first strategy, similar to the one in Utah - is it not?

It also seems to me your objective in posting about your position is to convince us your position is worthy of our support. I get that you don't care whether or not I personally agree, but it seems illogical to me that you would share your position here and keep defending that position against critique, if you were not hoping to convince anyone of anything.

I have long supported a housing-first strategy similar to the one in Utah.

My point, which you seem utterly unwilling to address, is that Utah's housing-first strategy succeeded in part because it DID expect those in the program not to disrupt the community. Without that expectation, there is little reason to assume the program in Utah would have enjoyed community buy-in in Utah. Without that "good neighbour" expectation, it's entirely likely they would have experienced community pushback for exactly the same reasons we have seen community push-back here in Penticton.
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

Post by foenix »

rustled wrote: Aug 3rd, 2021, 11:41 am
fluffy wrote: Aug 3rd, 2021, 11:17 am

Stop that. It's a cheap tactic. I don't care if you agree or not, I post these links to support my position in a discussion, not to manipulate yours.
I haven't accused you of manipulation.

It seems to me that your position is that we should all support a housing-first strategy, similar to the one in Utah - is it not?

It also seems to me your objective in posting about your position is to convince us your position is worthy of our support. I get that you don't care whether or not I personally agree, but it seems illogical to me that you would share your position here and keep defending that position against critique, if you were not hoping to convince anyone of anything.

I have long supported a housing-first strategy similar to the one in Utah.

My point, which you seem utterly unwilling to address, is that Utah's housing-first strategy succeeded in part because it DID expect those in the program not to disrupt the community. Without that expectation, there is little reason to assume the program in Utah would have enjoyed community buy-in in Utah. Without that "good neighbour" expectation, it's entirely likely they would have experienced community pushback for exactly the same reasons we have seen community push-back here in Penticton.
Utah model didnt succeed for that reason. Too many rules and restrictions aside from other flaws like leadership. It's not the same model as Medicine Hat's or the Finnish model where it's housing first and NO questions asked.

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.deseret ... -lake-city
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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wrote:Jlabute

I had a fellow near my home last weekend slouched over, sitting on the side of an alley. 9am to 1pm he remained sitting and slouched. I didn't see him move at all. I took some cold Gatorade and plums out for him. Asked him if he'd like an ambulance which got a vigorous 'no thanks'! Some people want to remain homeless and want to avoid hospital discharge planning I suppose.
You're not wrong, but the issue is a little more complex than simply wanting to remain homeless.

People who are functionally unable to follow rules or get along with others, may choose to remain on the streets because at least they'll be left alone.

People who can't stay sober (or don't believe they can) or simply don't want to, may choose to remain on the streets rather than enroll in a housing program that requires them to be sober. People who have tried and failed to do this multiple times, tend to stop believing it's possible for them.

People who's trauma and/or paranoia make shelters or housing programs a frightening place for them, may choose to remain on the streets because they feel safer there.

None of this is meant to elicit an "awww, poor homeless guy" or make anyone feel like they need to offer help. But the reasons people do what they do are usually complex and rarely rational.
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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rustled wrote: Aug 3rd, 2021, 11:41 amI have long supported a housing-first strategy similar to the one in Utah.

My point, which you seem utterly unwilling to address, is that Utah's housing-first strategy succeeded in part because it DID expect those in the program not to disrupt the community. Without that expectation, there is little reason to assume the program in Utah would have enjoyed community buy-in in Utah. Without that "good neighbour" expectation, it's entirely likely they would have experienced community pushback for exactly the same reasons we have seen community push-back here in Penticton.
I don't see how you expect to get everyone on board here when so many are prejudiced against even having homelessness around. Way too many would love to turn away and hope it just disappears. These types are not part of the solution. Knowing the people around here as you do, how realistic are any hopes that these people will "see the light"?
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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fluffy wrote: Aug 3rd, 2021, 5:53 pm
rustled wrote: Aug 3rd, 2021, 11:41 amI have long supported a housing-first strategy similar to the one in Utah.

My point, which you seem utterly unwilling to address, is that Utah's housing-first strategy succeeded in part because it DID expect those in the program not to disrupt the community. Without that expectation, there is little reason to assume the program in Utah would have enjoyed community buy-in in Utah. Without that "good neighbour" expectation, it's entirely likely they would have experienced community pushback for exactly the same reasons we have seen community push-back here in Penticton.
I don't see how you expect to get everyone on board here when so many are prejudiced against even having homelessness around. Way too many would love to turn away and hope it just disappears. These types are not part of the solution. Knowing the people around here as you do, how realistic are any hopes that these people will "see the light"?
I'll add that they are humans. Does everyone have super great neighbours? Nope. Expecting perfect behavior from anyone is unattainable in society. And it puts an unreachable bar on housing the homeless, which is by design of course.
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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fluffy wrote: Aug 3rd, 2021, 5:53 pm
rustled wrote: Aug 3rd, 2021, 11:41 amI have long supported a housing-first strategy similar to the one in Utah.

My point, which you seem utterly unwilling to address, is that Utah's housing-first strategy succeeded in part because it DID expect those in the program not to disrupt the community. Without that expectation, there is little reason to assume the program in Utah would have enjoyed community buy-in in Utah. Without that "good neighbour" expectation, it's entirely likely they would have experienced community pushback for exactly the same reasons we have seen community push-back here in Penticton.
I don't see how you expect to get everyone on board here when so many are prejudiced against even having homelessness around. Way too many would love to turn away and hope it just disappears. These types are not part of the solution. Knowing the people around here as you do, how realistic are any hopes that these people will "see the light"?
I don't expect to get everyone on board. I expect a reasoned, thoughtful approach to our community programs.

My goodness, I don't see what you're finding so difficult to understand here.

If we see homelessness in our community as a problem we should address, we have to talk about the best ways to address the problem.

As JayByrd (among others) pointed out, there are myriad reasons people experience homelessness. This means we need a wide variety of strategies to address the oversimplified problem of homelessness.

One of those strategies is the housing-first strategy you recommended, and you shared a Mother Earth News story about the impressive success of Utah's housing-first strategy, which Santa Clara County adapted with mixed success. When I pointed out part of the reason that Utah's housing-first program was successful is that they DID expect the people they placed in apartments throughout the city NOT to disrupt their neighbours - and that it was a program created by people who are conservative in their thinking - you seemed to me to suddenly lose interest in discussing how Utah had introduced a successful housing-first strategy and how they and Santa Clara County proactively cultivated broad community support for their programs.

Whether it's shelters with dedicated staff (and in Salt Lake City, we're talking shelters with hundreds of beds), or individual apartments throughout the city through a housing-first strategy like the one in your MotherEarthNews link or the Finnish model, the UK model, or the Swedish model, or tiny home communities, or communal apartments for specific needs with dedicated staff - successful strategies to house the homeless will always include recognizing there WILL be negative impacts for the neighbours, and that unless these negative impacts are addressed in the planning stages, the program is unlikely to receive the community support it needs to get off the ground, survive its first 24 months of operation, and thrive.

BC Housing and other agencies providing services for the homeless SHOULD be able to point to their success stories all over BC, to get buy-in and support for future projects. They can't do that here in Penticton, because too many of the facilities the BC government is responsible for have been allowing persistent, ongoing negative interactions with the neighbours for too long.

Very few people want to live with, or next to, people who frighten them - people who regularly wake them during the night yelling, who make it difficult for friends and family to visit, who make them afraid to come and go from their own homes. My family members who receive assistance through BC Housing are NOT equipped to deal with the aberrant behaviours of some of the homeless, behaviours other vulnerable people are told they must tolerate because we must all have compassion and empathy for the people who are tormenting them.

Yes, the homeless are human beings - as are the elderly and the disabled and everyone else who already lives in the buildings and in the neighbourhoods where "housing the homeless" has taken precedence over even the most basic expectations of peaceful enjoyment and security in their own homes.

No, not everyone has good neighbours. We all put up with some noise, some messiness, some vandalism, etc. That's part of being a community. We have noise bylaws and other means through which to ensure to rein it in, to help ensure people living together are reasonably considerate of one another. When the community is intentionally designing a program that knowingly foists real torment on some members of the community without any intention of dealing with that torment, people will push back at seeing their resources used with so little regard for harms done to other people we should care about, too.

The solution isn't to shame people for pushing back. The solution is to design good programs, modeled after successful programs elsewhere. Programs that respect everyone's right to security in their own homes. A wide range of them, knowing if we're to be successful in our efforts to decrease homelessness, we will need significant flexibility, significant creativity, significant cooperation, and significant community support.
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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rustled wrote: Aug 3rd, 2021, 7:56 pmThe solution is to design good programs, modeled after successful programs elsewhere. Programs that respect everyone's right to security in their own homes. A wide range of them, knowing if we're to be successful in our efforts to decrease homelessness, we will need significant flexibility, significant creativity, significant cooperation, and significant community support.
I think the idea that these housing projects come with "built in" trouble is way overblown. The problems people fear are not as common as many would have us believe. I live right next door to a privately run group home, where young adults are housed while awaiting foster home assignments. It doesn't house a lot of kids, maybe three or four at a time from what I notice, and as such does not require any sort of permit that would require consent from neighbours. Their most commonly used entry and my front door are maybe twenty-five feet apart. Truth be told, I hear more noise from neighbours across the street. I see more trouble in the reaction of some of those in the neighbourhood who simply resent the very presence of such a home in our area. Resentment based on fear and prejudice. That's the problem in my mind, and it's widespread to the point of being a major obstacle to progress in a lot of areas where our society needs work to proceed immediately. There are successful models to follow, and a lot of the ones we are already using can be called successful as well. Housing needs to be addressed first. The rest can follow as needed. If the concerns being expressed cannot be shown to be justified then delay is unwarranted.
Last edited by fluffy on Aug 4th, 2021, 6:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

Post by foenix »

fluffy wrote: Aug 4th, 2021, 4:24 am
rustled wrote: Aug 3rd, 2021, 7:56 pmThe solution is to design good programs, modeled after successful programs elsewhere. Programs that respect everyone's right to security in their own homes. A wide range of them, knowing if we're to be successful in our efforts to decrease homelessness, we will need significant flexibility, significant creativity, significant cooperation, and significant community support.
I think the idea that these housing projects come with "built in" trouble is way overblown. The problems people fear are not as common as many would have us believe. I live right next door to a privately run group home, where young adults are housed while awaiting foster home assignments. It doesn't house a lot of kids, maybe three or four at a time from what I notice, and as such does not require any sort of permit that would require consent from neighbours. Their most commonly used entry and my front door are maybe twenty-five feet apart. Truth be told, I hear more noise from neighbours across the street. I see more trouble in the reaction of some of those in the neighbourhood who simply resent the very presence of such a home in our area. Resentment based on fear and prejudice. That's the problem in my mind, and it's widespread to the point of being a major obstacle to progress in a lot of areas where our society needs work to proceed immediately. There are successful models to follow, and a lot of the ones we are already using can be called successful as well. Housing needs to be addressed first. The rest can follow as needed.
I agree with that as I read more on the success of the Medicine Hat's homelessness program. One thing I learned about their program is the amount of planning, coordination and the overall buy in from all the stakeholders in running this successful program. It really does take a village to run a program like this. Even in the beginning of their program, they were met with initial resistance as some in the community also feared "built in trouble" from the participants in the program. The case study didn't go into how they address that portion of the program but my opinion on that is the same as yours in that it was "overblown" and really wasn't an issue in the case study.
Tensions nevertheless surfaced as Housing First challenged practices and beliefs across the sector and broader community. The use of tax dollars to assist those with complex addictions and mental health issues, considered people who “choose to be homeless” (Municipal Official 2) by the broader Medicine Hat community, was met with resistance and challenged during the early adoption of the approach.
There were other more important aspects of the program deemed more important. Here's some of the key findings on the case study of the systems planning on "housing first" context.
The Medicine Hat approach to ending homelessness relies on Housing First and system planning. The basic idea behind Housing First is simple: provide a person experiencing homelessness with housing and then offer them supports to address other issues they may be facing. Rather than requiring someone to prove their worthiness for housing (such as being sober or getting job, etc.), Housing First considers access to housing as a basic human right. The application of Housing First as a philosophy across the homeless-serving system is essential to making a sustained impact on homelessness.
Here's their conclustion.....
C O N C L U S I O N : K E Y L E A R N I N G S I N S U M
Medicine Hat provides an important case study through which to examine the evolution of system planning approaches following Housing First. The key learnings summarized below highlight the dynamics involved in on-the-ground processes of implementation involved in social change and are of particular interest to a broad range of stakeholders working on addressing homelessness, particularly policy makers and funders, service providers and researchers. While this case study presented the processes and phases a community working to end homelessness went through according to key stakeholders, the chapter is not intending to provide a clear-cut model at this point. As other communities review the Medicine Hat experience and reflect on their own, future research can help articulate such a model with general applicability.............

1. Shared community ownership:
• Initiative considered a community-owned effort, not that of a single stakeholder.
• A broad vision created space for diverse stakeholders to contribute towards the greater goal.
• Tension was acknowledged and encouraged as part of the initiative’s evolution and continuous improvement.
• Success was celebrated consistently to reinforce overall direction of the community and collective ownership.

2. The right people, at the right time:
• Cultivating a diversity of champions behind the scenes and publically to support the initiative at pivotal moments.
• Having access to consistent support throughout the evolution of the initiative from key stakeholders in government, frontline agencies, business sector, funders and the broader community at large.
• Leveraging expertise and bringing in external knowledge leaders to inform local work.
• A strong core group of leaders was in place to act as the foundation of the initiative and create space for early innovation.

3. A focus on data, performance and continuous improvement:
• Use of data in real time decision making to operationalize system planning and enhance performance.
• Leveraging evidence of success in strategic communications to key stakeholders.
• Ensuring data is accurate, relevant and available.
• Balancing hard data with service participant testimony.
• Building a solid business case for investment in the initiative.
• Evidence, performance results and best practices driving investment decisions.
• Broad service provider buy-in and commitment to service excellence were in place across organizational levels.

4. An intentional community-wide system planning approach:
• Nimble and flexible approach to adjust strategies in real time.
• Broad-based system planning was infused across stakeholders beyond coordinating body.
• Intentional phased approach led by coordinating body to enhance community capacity to participate in system planning.
• Diversity of service providers were engaged in the work to develop a coordinated approach: no one program type was excluded from the process. This included emergency shelters, transitional housing, Housing First, prevention services and social housing providers.
• Intentional integration efforts with other systems (health, income assistance, corrections, etc.) were put in place with an eye to ‘moving upstream.’
• Emerging planning recognized regional pressures and the need to coordinate beyond the immediate locality.

5. A nimble coordinating body:
• Coordinating capacity to shift approach according to emerging needs from community developer to system planner and increasingly merging the two approaches.
• Ability to be strategic in creating space for dialogue on tensions, while keeping the momentum of the initiative.
• Leveraging media strategically to advance common goals at critical comments.
• Foresight to develop key relationships, shift program and system design, leverage data and external experts.
• Holding service participant needs at core of decision making.
• Clear direction is maintained, despite criticism and arising challenges.
https://homelesshub.ca/sites/default/fi ... Turner.pdf

As you can see, it's a lot more than "just getting along with your neighbors". It takes many stakeholders to run a successful housing first homeless strategy.
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

Post by rustled »

fluffy wrote: Aug 4th, 2021, 4:24 am
rustled wrote: Aug 3rd, 2021, 7:56 pmThe solution is to design good programs, modeled after successful programs elsewhere. Programs that respect everyone's right to security in their own homes. A wide range of them, knowing if we're to be successful in our efforts to decrease homelessness, we will need significant flexibility, significant creativity, significant cooperation, and significant community support.
I think the idea that these housing projects come with "built in" trouble is way overblown.
When we're creating programs, the actual experiences of community members being tormented ought to outweigh what the rest of us "think".

If we allow our prejudices to cloud our vision, we are doing the program a disservice.

When someone like Eby tells a community that is experiencing significant negative impacts from a shelter or housing program that the problem is "overblown", they are showing callous disregard, a lack of compassion, and a lack of empathy for the people who are experiencing trauma resulting from a housing or shelter program. They are letting their own prejudices get in the way of creating a sustainable program, and blaming "the community" for the predictable results while refusing to acknowledge how their own prejudices have further undermined community trust.
fluffy wrote: The problems people fear are not as common as many would have us believe.
" Not as common" is not a good reason for turning a blind eye to the problems people are experiencing. I could say "homelessness is not as common as many would have us believe" - that wouldn't get us anywhere. Instead, we recognize homelessness is an issue to be addressed, and we speak honestly about it: Yes, there are some homeless people whose lack of regard for the people around them will result in negative interactions. And we talk about how we will deal with this reality, so these negative interactions do not escalate and further torment the neighbours who have a right not to be tormented - which will in turn create ill-will for our programs throughout the community.
fluffy wrote: I live right next door to a privately run group home, where young adults are housed while awaiting foster home assignments. It doesn't house a lot of kids, maybe three or four at a time from what I notice, and as such does not require any sort of permit that would require consent from neighbours. Their most commonly used entry and my front door are maybe twenty-five feet apart. Truth be told, I hear more noise from neighbours across the street.
Sounds like a properly run group home.

Do you think there are any basic expectations for how these youth interact with their neighbours? Would there be consequences for the youth if they were tormenting their neighbours?
fluffy wrote: I see more trouble in the reaction of some of those in the neighbourhood who simply resent the very presence of such a home in our area. Resentment based on fear and prejudice. That's the problem in my mind, and it's widespread to the point of being a major obstacle to progress in a lot of areas where our society needs work to proceed immediately.
It seems to me this "it's the community's fault - they're prejudiced" attitude is as significant an impediment to good programming as the NIMBY attitude (and every bit as prejudiced).

This is what Eby is doing - telling people who are being tormented that they don't matter as much as the people who are tormenting them.

You're creating your own problem with public perception about these programs by saying "it's no big deal" instead of saying "this is how we will make sure the neighbours are not tormented".
fluffy wrote:There are successful models to follow, and a lot of the ones we are already using can be called successful as well.
Ageed.
fluffy wrote: Housing needs to be addressed first. The rest can follow as needed.
When "the rest" is offering assistance with achieving sobriety or kicking addictions or finding work or counselling services, sure.

Not when "the rest" is the basic expectation that people being housed will not torment their neighbours. Our community has plenty of proof we cannot expect the concerns of the tormented will ever be heard or addressed. Eby won't hear them - and neither, apparently, will you.

The message received is "only the security of the homeless matters, no one else".
fluffy wrote:If the concerns being expressed cannot be shown to be justified then delay is unwarranted.
There's the old "urgency" ploy, coupled with the "this program is doing good, so any harms it does must be ignored, downplayed, dismissed, or shamed away" tactic.

It's blind adherence to a belief of "doing good" - regardless of reality, regardless of harms done - that torpedoes many a good social program.
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

Post by fluffy »

rustled wrote: Aug 4th, 2021, 8:04 am When we're creating programs, the actual experiences of community members being tormented ought to outweigh what the rest of us "think".
If you can be sure that said "torment" is real, and not just growing out of fear and prejudice. I'm of the mind that a lot of what we hear here in Penticton is just drama as I haven't seen much evidence to the contrary. There is also a feeling among many that a vote-hungry Mayor is feeding this fire.
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

Post by rustled »

fluffy wrote: Aug 4th, 2021, 8:30 am
rustled wrote: Aug 4th, 2021, 8:04 am When we're creating programs, the actual experiences of community members being tormented ought to outweigh what the rest of us "think".
If you can be sure that said "torment" is real, and not just growing out of fear and prejudice. I'm of the mind that a lot of what we hear here in Penticton is just drama as I haven't seen much evidence to the contrary. There is also a feeling among many that a vote-hungry Mayor is feeding this fire.
IMO, this is perception bias. Perception bias is unhelpful when it leads to exaggeration of the negative interactions, and it is unhelpful when it leads to accusing those experiencing negative interactions of "fear and prejudice". (It's interesting that you're hearing about a vote-hungry mayor. Most of the people I'm hearing from are happy he is standing up to an arrogant provincial government that doesn't care about our community because we won't vote NDP anyway!)

Politics aside, if we the people of Penticton want sustainable solutions to address the many faceted problem of homelessness, for the homeless and for the community, our best way forward is to set aside our prejudices and partisanship and work together. We need to create, promote and support programs that serve the basic needs of everyone - secure housing being the first priority, not only for the homeless but for the entire community. We can do this. It won't be perfect - human nature isn't built for perfection. But it'll be stronger and more sustainable and more successful if we set aside differences and focus on the goal.
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

Post by foenix »

rustled wrote: Aug 4th, 2021, 8:46 am
fluffy wrote: Aug 4th, 2021, 8:30 am

If you can be sure that said "torment" is real, and not just growing out of fear and prejudice. I'm of the mind that a lot of what we hear here in Penticton is just drama as I haven't seen much evidence to the contrary. There is also a feeling among many that a vote-hungry Mayor is feeding this fire.
IMO, this is perception bias. Perception bias is unhelpful when it leads to exaggeration of the negative interactions, and it is unhelpful when it leads to accusing those experiencing negative interactions of "fear and prejudice". (It's interesting that you're hearing about a vote-hungry mayor. Most of the people I'm hearing from are happy he is standing up to an arrogant provincial government that doesn't care about our community because we won't vote NDP anyway!)

Politics aside, if we the people of Penticton want sustainable solutions to address the many faceted problem of homelessness, for the homeless and for the community, our best way forward is to set aside our prejudices and partisanship and work together. We need to create, promote and support programs that serve the basic needs of everyone - secure housing being the first priority, not only for the homeless but for the entire community. We can do this. It won't be perfect - human nature isn't built for perfection. But it'll be stronger and more sustainable and more successful if we set aside differences and focus on the goal.
Certainly, looking from the outside in, the situation in Penticton is doomed to fail as I see none of the planning, organization or the local buy-in necessary from the community for the program to succeed. There is already a "perception bias" towards the housing program like the guy that dumped "poo" in front of the shelter. What I see is a political situation that's basically an "us" or "them" scenario with the head of the municipality leading the charge to kick the program to the curb just to protect his business interests......imo, of course.

There are successful model for the Penticton community to model themselves after but I really don't see the political will from either side to make it a success. Unfortunately for them I'm sure the problem will just escalate from here and the partisanship and the entrenchment will be even worse in the foreseeable future.
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GordonH
Grumpy Old Bleep
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Joined: Oct 4th, 2008, 7:21 pm

Re: The push to end homelessness.

Post by GordonH »

Here’s the question, does the homeless actually want to no longer be homeless.

Some maybe yes (these wouldn’t trash home provided), others not so much (these apartments would most likely be trashed).
"You've Gotta' Ask Yourself A Question. 'Do I Feel Lucky?' Well Do Ya...PUNK?" Harry Callahan
I don't care whether people like me or dislike me. I'm not on earth to win any popularity contests.

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