Pubdate: Wed, 10 May 2006
Source: Kelowna Capital News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006, West Partners Publishing Ltd.
Author: Lisa Nagy


To the editor:

It's clear to me, while reading Hans Birker's letter of 30 April 
(City Chooses Wrong Spot for Transition House), that there is still 
plenty of misunderstanding out there.

His quote " there should be a minimum distance from access to drugs 
and alcohol " is nice, but real world impossible. There really is 
nowhere to go, these days. It's all around. Learning to say "no" to a 
drug, a drink or even a cookie is easy when there's none around you.

Learning to say "no" to it when it's there is the skill an addict 
needs to learn. To learn in any other environment than the one you 
have to live in is to learn falsely. Besides, I don't think he meant 
to imply that anyone with an addiction should be isolated.

And let's make it clear that it's not having a shelter down on Leon 
that is the problem. It's the conditions that create a need for that 
shelter. It's a lack of supportive housing, treatment centres and 
low-income developments. It's a lack of livable welfare rates. It's a 
lack of funding for social programs.

What will change things? Action. There's got to be some. It can't be 
all lip service and studies. What won't change things? Complaining.

Lisa Nagy

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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman