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LETTER: Shame on council for making it a crime to be homeless

'Shame on the councillors who took such a serious matter into their own comfortable hands without much debate,' the reader writes
tent city
Part of the tent city that was erected at the Sault Ste. Marie Civic Centre in October 2021

SooToday received the following letter to the editor regarding Monday's story: Dismissing legal threat, council approves homeless encampment ban

I would like to address this letter to those who voted in favour of making it a crime to be homeless and making shelter on public lands.

As we have seen in the past three years, our government has failed us. The cost of living has increased dramatically and because companies (in my opinion) have scooped up quite a bit of our rental properties, we now see a simple monopoly whereby rents have gone from affordable to not affordable. For instance a one bedroom in the Soo about four years ago was about $675 and now you will barely find one for under $1,000.

I commend former city solicitor Nuala Kenny for her attempts at stopping this injustice.

To sum things up, I will say two things. First is that it is sad and a shame on the councillors who took such a serious matter into their own comfortable hands without much debate and shame on them for not focusing on other matters of more importance such as how to repair the homeless situation.

The second point is that it shows how detached they really are when it was pointed out that it was a "housekeeping matter"; this is not only insulting but it is also quite a play on words if you may.

If the city is going to waste money on bylaw officers when they can't even get bylaw officers to enforce derelict and rundown properties to tidy up, I wonder how efficient this will be.

The last laugh may be with the homeless, as it is going to be interesting to see what happens when someone gets awakened in the middle of the night by police officers.

If I were homeless and had nowhere to go . . . I might just stand my ground and take the warm ride to the police station for overnight accommodations and maybe a meal.

Ernest Skinner

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