Re: “Tenters leave under heavy police presence,” Sept. 14.
We speak from primary tenets of many faith traditions that are called to seek justice with kindness and show compassion. We are called to care for one another in community. We observe that in the current climate where the divide between haves and have-nots grows larger, an authentic and concrete plan for addressing the right to housing for everyone is urgent.
The dispersion of residents of tent cities to live under bridges, in parks and doorways, and the warehousing of marginalized peoples in substandard conditions does not align with our stated values or the values (we believe) of Greater Victoria residents.
The people of the United Church are representative of a broad spectrum of political stripes, occupations, businesses, community groups, not-for-profits and support agencies serving the marginalized in Victoria. As such, we recognize the complexity of balancing the perspectives and rights of all individuals and groups in our society.
Many people have done good work, and much remains to be done. We call on people of lived experience of homelessness and people who see themselves as marginalized, local/provincial/federal politicians, community groups, service providers, first responders and faith communities to come together to work toward a real and sustainable plan of action to ensure that everyone has appropriate housing.
Seeking justice in God’s world is the work of all of us together.
Rev. Cheryl Black
Chair, Community of Faith Circle
Victoria Presbytery, United Church of Canada