Pubdate: Tue, 15 Jul 2008
Source: Richmond News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008, Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Author: Lisa Parker


The Editor,

I am a long time Richmond resident -- one of the few born and raised here.

It is amazing to me (and disgusting) how selfish the residents of 
Richmond have become.

There are many aspects that make up a community -- good and bad. 
Instead of a real community, the "new" Richmondites have decided that 
it's not what's best for the residents, it's only what looks good on 
the surface. Only families with kids and "elders" are allowed in our 
neighbourhoods. Anyone that doesn't fit that description, isn't wanted here.

Nobody wants this recovery house in their neighbourhood, so let's all 
bury our heads and pretend that the problem doesn't exist. Richmond 
has become a very large, thriving city and has a responsibility to 
take care of its citizens -- even if they don't "fit" the image that 
the residents prefer to see. If we continue to pretend that the 
problem doesn't exist, we run the risk of an increase of street 
people, addicts panhandling on our streets and parks, thefts and break-ins.

The idea of a recovery house is that these people have reached out 
for help and are attempting to make positive changes in the face of 
crippling addiction. They deserve the chance to get better and to be 
close to their family and friends, instead of being written off and 
sent away to be dealt with somewhere else because we don't like the 
way it looks. They also deserve the opportunity to become 
contributing members of the community that helped and supported them. 
The people in recovery aren't the ones you should fear. I would worry 
more about the things you pretend aren't there.

You could very easily have active drug addicts move in next door. Or 
drug dealers. Or a meth-lab. And there is nothing that you could do about it.

Give these people the credit that they deserve for getting help. And 
stop being afraid of what you don't know. And I pray that someone you 
love doesn't ever need these services.

Lisa Parker, Richmond
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