We are called to care for one an­other

Times Colonist - - Comment -

Re: “Ten­ters leave un­der heavy po­lice pres­ence,” Sept. 14. We speak from pri­mary tenets of many faith tra­di­tions that are called to seek jus­tice with kind­ness and show com­pas­sion. We are called to care for one an­other in com­mu­nity. We ob­serve that in the cur­rent cli­mate where the di­vide be­tween haves and have-nots grows larger, an au­then­tic and con­crete plan for ad­dress­ing the right to hous­ing for ev­ery­one is ur­gent.

The dis­per­sion of res­i­dents of tent cities to live un­der bridges, in parks and door­ways, and the ware­hous­ing of marginal­ized peo­ples in sub­stan­dard con­di­tions does not align with our stated val­ues or the val­ues (we be­lieve) of Greater Vic­to­ria res­i­dents.

The peo­ple of the United Church are rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a broad spec­trum of po­lit­i­cal stripes, oc­cu­pa­tions, busi­nesses, com­mu­nity groups, not­for-prof­its and sup­port agen­cies serv­ing the marginal­ized in Vic­to­ria. As such, we rec­og­nize the com­plex­ity of bal­anc­ing the per­spec­tives and rights of all in­di­vid­u­als and groups in our so­ci­ety.

Many peo­ple have done good work, and much re­mains to be done. We call on peo­ple of lived ex­pe­ri­ence of home­less­ness and peo­ple who see them­selves as marginal­ized, lo­cal/pro­vin­cial/fed­eral politi­cians, com­mu­nity groups, ser­vice providers, first re­spon­ders and faith com­mu­ni­ties to come to­gether to work to­ward a real and sus­tain­able plan of ac­tion to en­sure that ev­ery­one has ap­pro­pri­ate hous­ing.

Seek­ing jus­tice in God’s world is the work of all of us to­gether. Rev. Ch­eryl Black Chair, Com­mu­nity of Faith Cir­cle Vic­to­ria Pres­bytery, United Church of Canada

DAR­REN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Crews dis­man­tle the tent city in Saanich’s Regina Park.

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