When will people learn? I was witness to an incident that left me feeling sad and incensed. I saw a man in a mall parking lot struggling with a limp Labradoodle to find a shady spot. I said to his partner of him, who was just standing there, “You have to get some water for the dog.” It was obviously dehydrated. I saw the man trying to hold the dog into a standing position, shaking it to wake it. I then proceeded into the store.
How many people walk away? Don’t want to get involved. Attending to something cruel or foolish is an inconvenience or may put us in jeopardy. I haven’t slept very well lately. A beautiful Labradoodle, bred for intelligence and gentleness, may have died of dehydration in a hot car in a parking lot because two people may have returned too late. I kept thinking, what if I had got some water for the dog?
What I can do is write this, urge folks to take precautions as the temperature rises, keep water on hand in the car. Take your pet to an air-conditioned place if it becomes faint with heat exhaustion. And store owners, please keep a bowl of water at the entrance of your place. You may save a pet’s life. And don’t leave a dog or child in a car. Por favor.
Melody Wales, Squamish
Hooray for supportive housing
As someone who lives a block from the newly approved social housing site on Arbutus, I applaud the decision to provide a space for people with housing and addiction needs to turn their lives around.
However, for this project to be successful in its stated aim of supporting the well-being of the residents-to-be, it is critical that they receive the services they need to get better and are not simply warehoused. Key to this is a support system being in place that matches the needs of the residents, and has the capacity to be effective, taking their numbers into account.
There are several components to effective support, which include: case management teams, psychiatric and medical services, skills training, substance use treatment, strategies to engage residents with the wider community, and the staffing to effectively implement all these elements.
The people who will eventually call this housing home are not bad people, and the fear-mongering that the most vehement opponents have engaged in — that bad people will do bad things to the community, its children, and its environment — is just that.
However, the misgivings that some community members have about future residents not receiving adequate support should not be dismissed.
If well-rounded and robust services are not provided — in other words, if the housing is not truly supportive — then it is bound to fail. Not only would this hurt the residents and broader community, it would damage the argument for supportive housing throughout the province and come back to bite all those who champion the cause.
Spencer van Vloten, editor, BC Disability
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