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LETTER: Not too late to help those who are homeless

Collingwood can and should take action to support people living without shelter, says letter writer
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CollingwoodToday welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected] or via our website. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). 

My letter concerns a predication I made last winter when a friend and I were discussing national homeless and I present some solutions.

You've no doubt seen homeless people here and there in Collingwood (mostly at night I noticed) and probably thought: "It's all over these days!"

Yet, Collingwood can and should stop it while they still can. As the weather cools, choose a church and institute a decent 'mat program' for when temperatures are below zero. Other reputable communities already do this.

Such a place should be harm-reduction and essentially compassion-, not condemnation-based. If you lived in the cold all day, chances are you would succumb to substances like many do.

Also, businesses and people could donate warm clothing items.

While on the August streets here I saw a dozen homeless citizens in bad shape looking for someplace to go and/or sleep.

My prediction was that homeless numbers would migrate here and it's happening!

If the situation goes ignored you will have more panhandling, open drug-use, vandalism, crimes of desperation, high use of emergency services and a decline in seasonal tourist appeal.

Don't let Collingwood succumb to the same fate as other surrounding communities. It's not too late.

Tyler Dunlop
Collingwood, Ont.