For those who are concerned about the Rutherford School takeover, I completely understand and am very concerned as well. I would like to help provide some clarity and a voice of reason for those who may not be aware of underlying circumstances around this – for those who consider the homeless or the police to be at fault for this new situation which in reality has been imposed upon our community by alt-left extremists.
These are not actions of the homeless; the Rutherford School takeover was initiated by the alt-left activist group “Alliance Against Displacement” (AAD), and they do not represent the homeless here, just as the alt-right activist group “Soldiers of Odin” (SOO) do not represent our community. The AAD is filling the void where others are not speaking on behalf of the homeless, who have no voice. The SOO is filling the void where the community is understandably angered around how things are proceeding and feel they have no voice.
Both of these extremist groups are only helping to unravel the forward progress that has been made towards better understanding what homeless is and isn’t, and they are pitching the community against each other.
This is not helpful, it is very detrimental. The fact is, that the stigma around homelessness is so strong, that many don’t even place weight into the fact that many are one paycheck away from being on the streets. Over 48% of renters in Nanaimo are paying more than they can afford towards rent. This is a serious problem.
In other words, the stigma is delaying forward progress. It’s not all about people looking for handouts, or about people who are addicted and resort to crime to feed their habit, or those with mental disabilities who require significant support systems in order to be able to function in positive ways that benefit themselves and society. It’s about the big picture – a complex issue that many people face for many different reasons.
The homeless have not taken over Rutherford School. The homeless are not the root cause of what has went wrong with tent city and continues to escalate. An extremist group has caused this, and they are also the ones who are providing the oversight for our tent city – due to the absence of the city providing oversight.
This is why we need strong leadership to help things move forward in proactive ways instead of focusing on being reactive. Please help support the real solutions – the real solutions do not involve taking over schools or other community spaces, and they do not involve dispersing the homeless onto the streets and into the parks.
The real solutions involve hard work, effort, and commitment within leadership and the community to help support and encourage the work being done by the many professional organizations that are assisting towards this measure – towards the immediate problems, and the root problems themselves.
We can and will get through this as a community, and it will happen much faster if we all work together.