Demand tax dollars for treatment services

Re: “‘Marginalized’ is wearisome babble, letter, Oct. 6.

“How insecure those hard-working, taxpaying citizens ... are made to feel by the presence of a drug-infested group of people.”

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How dare the writer refer to “the homeless” as less than you and me.

Unless you or a loved one has experienced the depths of severe mental illness, addiction or abuse (physical or otherwise), it might be impossible to understand what this group of people is experiencing.

Few people understand what is involved in helping someone return to a place of peace, happiness and health. It can be a never-ending, exhausting, 24/7 battle. Not everyone has a family with the strength or stamina to fight this battle.

Perhaps this is the only safe family unit these people have ever experienced, feeling strong enough together to cope with issues and ask for help.

Perhaps those “hard-working, taxpaying citizens” should demand their tax dollars be spent on mental-health and addiction services to help these people. Just where do you think everyone went when Riverview hospital was shut down?

Not everyone with mental-health issues is suitable for treatment in the community. Time spent in a tertiary mental-health facility would mean the difference between life and death for some people.

Thank god this group of people has the insight to recognize they need assistance returning to a safe, peaceful and healthier existence. Thank god they have the gumption to stand up and ask for what they need to achieve quality of life.

Sue Pazder


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