An angry online petition is not the way to solve homelessness

There are legitimate questions to be raised about whether our community is responding properly and effectively to issues like homelessness and drug addiction. And the concentration of shelters in the ByWard Market is an understandable concern of residents and businesses in the area.

But the proper approach to the solution is not an online petition that labels the shelters a cancer on the area and claims they are incubators for crime and addiction. The business person behind the petition apparently passed up an opportunity to meet with a city councillor and others to discuss the issue, which suggests he’s not open to a constructive solution. His message is neither helpful nor realistic.

The organizations behind the shelters are not going to close them down because of an angrily worded diatribe on the Internet, even if it attracts a few thousand signatures. And the tone of the petition is disrespectful to those organizations and to the people they serve. A certain amount of frustration is to be expected, but this website is not a meaningful contribution to an important debate.

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