Editorial: Where do they go now?

You can’t fix one issue without fixing the others

For many, many months residents of a north Penticton neighbourhood have had to put up with a problem home where people are living in ever-increasing squalor, along with accusations of drug dealing.

It’s been a long process, but the City of Penticton says it is coming to a end, and they may soon be able to close the house down.

But as sad as the living conditions are — the residents using kerosene heaters and an electric generator since power was cut off — evicting the residents is going to create more problems.

We support cleaning up the situation with the derelict home, but we also have to question what the future holds for the evicted residents.

It’s nearly a perfect example of the interconnectness of homelessness, street life, drug addiction and other ills plaguing, not just Penticton, but communities throughout B.C., across Canada and around the world.

You can’t fix one issue without addressing all the others, otherwise the cycle continues to repeat. In this case, the neighbours might heave a sigh of relief, but evictees may not find another flop or squat, end up living on the street or otherwise find themselves worse off, with increased health problems, and drug abuse looming in the future.

It’s pretty certain they won’t be moving into a swanky $2,000 a month condo with a view of the beach.

We’re not saying that it would be easy, or even possible, to completely banish these societal issues. It’s a long, hard journey to even make things a little better.

It’s said the measure of a society is in how it treats its most vulnerable members. If that’s true, then — as the just society Canada aspires to be — ways have to be found to break the downward spiral of homelessness, poverty and addiction too many members of our community find themselves in.

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