As I write this, sitting on the wharf with my ancient laptop on a sunny day in Gibsons, looking at so many moneyed folks buying everything in sight, I know that not a stone’s throw from where I am are 30 people – with hearts and souls just like you and me – without a home.
Last night, some slept under rowboats pulled up on the beach. Some didn’t sleep, because the little shelter they sought from last night’s rain – a garage, perhaps, or maybe just a big tree – was made unavailable by a property owner who didn’t want them there.
I’ll keep banging this drum. We have a moral obligation to help and support our fellow community members who are homeless and, quite often, live with a mental illness.
It is important to understand this: Not one of these folks has made a choice to live this way. Not one wants to wait each week for the food bank. Not one would prefer to live without love, support, and happiness. Not one would not embrace the chance to express the talent, spirit, and energy she or he has.
It comes down to us. We who have more than we need.
I ask this: Is it possible that you have ten hours a month to volunteer to support your fellow community members? Think about it. Ten mere hours a month away from Netflix.
It it possible for you to talk to the guy who plays John Prine for dimes on an out-of-tune guitar outside your fancy food market? Is is possible for you to buy him a sandwich – maybe even take him to lunch? Is it possible for you to accept him? (Or her, of course.)
Reject the objections to social housing or shelters that so many don’t want in their neighbourhood. Stand up for what it morally right and true. Share your abundance.
To my Sunshine Coast friends, you might listen to a recent podcast (link handily provided below) and express your support to John Gleeson, my fine editor, and the Coast Reporter, for running my column.