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moahunter
17-07-2007, 02:34 PM
Mandel endorses shelter for young addicts
Susan Ruttan, edmontonjournal.com
Published: 1:12 pm
EDMONTON - Mayor Stephen Mandel has offered to help a group that wants to set up a tolerant shelter for young addicts with mental disorders.
The mayor told council today there may be a Capital Health facility that possibly could be used for the shelter. He offered to facilitate a meeting between the shelter proponents and Capital Health.
The idea comes from the Edmonton Community Drug Strategy Task Force, a four-year project that gave its final report to council today.
Task force chair Gary Nelson said the shelter would provide beds for youth from age 18 to 24 who are addicted. It will also give them food and medical attention, and help them get back on the medications they need to deal with their disorders, he said.
He estimates a 75-bed shelter would cost $2 million to set up and $2.5 million a year to run.
A tolerant shelter wouldn't allow young people to use drugs or alcohol on the premises, but would allow them to come in while intoxicated.

DebraW
17-07-2007, 02:37 PM
^ What would you rather he do?

moahunter
17-07-2007, 02:40 PM
I know this probably won't make me popular with many, but why do Edmontonians support the lifestyes of homeless and junkies by providing food and shelter?

I realize some have mental illnesses, although often, IMO, these mental illnesses are self inflicted (durg abuse, etc.).

Every time you give a dollar to a panhandler, or provide some free food or shelter to a homeless person, all you are doing is supporting the way they live.

We need to support and help people who want to change, or seek help. Women's shelters can be a good example of this.

But these shelters for any bum to walk into? Come on, all we are doing is providng encouragement to live on the streets.

m0nkyman
17-07-2007, 02:45 PM
So. Should we just execute them? Bullet to the head, send the bill to the family for the ammunition? What's your preferred alternative?

Anyone who thinks that living on the street is even remotely a choice that is freely taken is wrong. Flat out wrong. Anything we can do to start bringing them back into trusting society is going to be a long term good. At least that's my assumption.

moahunter
17-07-2007, 02:45 PM
^ What would you rather he do?

Discourage pan handling and also discourage charities from providing a free lunch.

Maybe if the homeless / druggie lifestyle was not so easy, it wouldn't flourish the way it is.

DebraW
17-07-2007, 02:52 PM
So. Should we just execute them? Bullet to the head, send the bill to the family for the ammunition? What's your preferred alternative?

Anyone who thinks that living on the street is even remotely a choice that is freely taken is wrong. Flat out wrong. Anything we can do to start bringing them back into trusting society is going to be a long term good. At least that's my opinion.

^ Yup...I have posted it before IN some matters there ARE NO CHOICES TO DISADVANTAGED ALBERTANS this involves living arrangments, preventative health care...

No one chooses to live on the street just as few (I would say any) sane, non-addicted or from a non-abusive background chooses to sell their body to survive.

moahunter
17-07-2007, 02:57 PM
So. Should we just execute them? Bullet to the head, send the bill to the family for the ammunition? What's your preferred alternative?

Anyone who thinks that living on the street is even remotely a choice that is freely taken is wrong. Flat out wrong. Anything we can do to start bringing them back into trusting society is going to be a long term good. At least that's my opinion.

^ Yup...I have posted it before IN some matters there ARE NO CHOICES TO DISADVANTAGED ALBERTANS this involves living arrangments, preventative health care...

No one chooses to live on the street just as few (I would say any) sane, non-addicted or from a non-abusive background chooses to sell their body to survive.

People can change, life is about choices.

However, we cannot change someone who has not taken steps to do so themselves. We cannot naively "show them the way". Giving a free lunch or shelter does nothing but support the poor choices that have been made (by them, or their relatives).

Why don't we instead focus our resources on people who actually have taken steps to fix their lives (e.g. group counselling, drug rehabilitation programs, etc.)?

Brentk
17-07-2007, 03:03 PM
You do realise that most the people on the street are unable to make a change right?

Providing shelter will also hopefully build relationship with some of these people, that can lead to rehab.

m0nkyman
17-07-2007, 03:03 PM
Because the end result of it will be people dying.

DebraW
17-07-2007, 03:06 PM
:smt076 This is me as my head explodes...

I agree we should help those who have taken steps to help themselves but we should not ignore those who are too ill or addicted to make that first step.

Sometimes ALL it takes is one person, one organization etc. to keep trying (for how many times it takes) to finally make a difference.

Saying that people should help themselves or they are totally out of luck and resources helps no one especially society.

moahunter
17-07-2007, 03:06 PM
Because the end result of it will be people dying.

I think people are dying because we are supporting a disfunctional lifestyle. Every open door shelter makes this lifestyle a little easier, and makes the outcome of drugs a little less scary.

Medwards
17-07-2007, 03:14 PM
These shelters are for people that want to get help. They are not being built to support a lifestyle. These places will not condone the continued use of drugs while in recovery.
Drug addiction is a mental disability... even if someone starts into by choice.

I'm sorry, but I almost feel offended by topic of this thread. Very definitely narrowminded me me me thinking.

I've bolded the part you don't seem to understand moahunter

Task force chair Gary Nelson said the shelter would provide beds for youth from age 18 to 24 who are addicted. It will also give them food and medical attention, and help them get back on the medications they need to deal with their disorders, he said.

North Guy66
17-07-2007, 03:18 PM
A lot of street people suffer from some form of mental illness. They should be treated in an institution instead of fending for themselves on the street.

For example if you visit Whyte Ave. frequently (between 99th st. and Gateway), there is a blondish, unhygienic woman in her 40's with a real bad complexion. Usually she is walking around talking gibberish to herself. She is harmless and non-confrontational but she gives visitors the creeps. You know who I'm talking about if you've been to Old Strathcona the past 3-4 years.

She should be in Alberta hospital, not walking aimlessly on the street every day. There is a lot more like her out there and you can thank Ralph Klein's health cuts in the 1990's for that.

Medwards
17-07-2007, 03:19 PM
Because the end result of it will be people dying.

I think people are dying because we are supporting a disfunctional lifestyle. Every open door shelter makes this lifestyle a little easier, and makes the outcome of drugs a little less scary.

What do you suggest we do? You're obviously confusing things... this isn't a homeless shelter that you can come and go to, from my understanding... Its a place to go for treatment to get better, to become unaddicted.

moahunter
17-07-2007, 03:19 PM
These shelters are for people that want to get help. They are not being built to support a lifestyle. These places will not condone the continued use of drugs while in recovery.
Drug addiction is a mental disability... even if someone starts into by choice.

I'm sorry, but I almost feel offended by topic of this thread. Very definitely narrowminded me me me thinking.

I've bolded the part you don't seem to understand moahunter

Task force chair Gary Nelson said the shelter would provide beds for youth from age 18 to 24 who are addicted. It will also give them food and medical attention, and help them get back on the medications they need to deal with their disorders, he said.

But what about this quote:

"A tolerant shelter wouldn't allow young people to use drugs or alcohol on the premises, but would allow them to come in while intoxicated."

How does that tie in with not condoning the use of drugs?

Don't worry about the consequnces this afternoon of getting wasted on the streets. We will still take you in and look after you tonight.

DebraW
17-07-2007, 03:20 PM
These shelters are for people that want to get help. They are not being built to support a lifestyle. These places will not condone the continued use of drugs while in recovery.
Drug addiction is a mental disability... even if someone starts into by choice.

I'm sorry, but I almost feel offended by topic of this thread. Very definitely narrowminded me me me thinking.

^ Well, I will not coach my feelings, the subject heading, as it is inflammatory, offends me.

I had posted this news item under the social topic thread that encompasses homelessness etc. but did not change the subject head.

However, I am glad to see debate on the topical issue, even if my head is exploding…

Medwards
17-07-2007, 03:22 PM
Not all people addicted to drugs live on the street.

Sure, the ones on the street might be addicted to something, but addiction happens in all walks of life.

If you all would open your eyes and stop jumping to this:

some homeless aggressive panhandler is also drug addict, so all drug addicts must be homeless aggressive panhandler.

moahunter
17-07-2007, 03:25 PM
These shelters are for people that want to get help. They are not being built to support a lifestyle. These places will not condone the continued use of drugs while in recovery.
Drug addiction is a mental disability... even if someone starts into by choice.

I'm sorry, but I almost feel offended by topic of this thread. Very definitely narrowminded me me me thinking.

^ Well, I will not coach my feelings, the subject heading, as it is inflammatory, offends me.

I had posted this news item under the social topic thread that encompasses homelessness etc. but did not change the subject head.

However, I am glad to see debate on the topical issue, even if my head is exploding…

I thought my view would not be too popular. I know Canadians are very nice and want to help people. It is truley a great thing about this country.

But Canadians can also be a little naive. Both my wife (who is Japanese), and myself (New Zealander) were shocked to see how easy it is to live on the streets here relative to other countries.

I have no problem with proper facilities to deal with mental health, drug or other issues. But simply providing a free roof and food in the hope that the odd person will seek help will not acheive anything IMO.

Medwards
17-07-2007, 03:25 PM
These shelters are for people that want to get help. They are not being built to support a lifestyle. These places will not condone the continued use of drugs while in recovery.
Drug addiction is a mental disability... even if someone starts into by choice.

I'm sorry, but I almost feel offended by topic of this thread. Very definitely narrowminded me me me thinking.

I've bolded the part you don't seem to understand moahunter

Task force chair Gary Nelson said the shelter would provide beds for youth from age 18 to 24 who are addicted. It will also give them food and medical attention, and help them get back on the medications they need to deal with their disorders, he said.

But what about this quote:

"A tolerant shelter wouldn't allow young people to use drugs or alcohol on the premises, but would allow them to come in while intoxicated."

How does that tie in with not condoning the use of drugs?

Don't worry about the consequnces this afternoon of getting wasted on the streets. We will still take you in and look after you tonight.

If this is infact what it is, just a night shelter for people to come and go from, I wouldn't support it either.
I thought this would be more of a treatment center. A place where you can go to stay for awhile, kick the habit, and perhaps grow a few life skills to make yourself a better person.

DebraW
17-07-2007, 03:26 PM
Not all people addicted to drugs live on the street.

Sure, the ones on the street might be addicted to something, but addiction happens in all walks of life.

If you all would open your eyes and stop jumping to this:

some homeless aggressive panhandler is also drug addict, so all drug addicts must be homeless aggressive panhandler.

^ And not all people who are mentally ill are on the streets or addicted or drains on society or aggressive or looking for handouts; actually most have jobs and productive lives but they also have an illness.

Medwards
17-07-2007, 03:28 PM
I think the real answer will lie in this:

The idea comes from the Edmonton Community Drug Strategy Task Force, a four-year project that gave its final report to council today.

I'm sure this recommendation won't be including a day shelter for drug addicts to come and go from as they please.

Sure they can come in high... but the aim would be to get them on a treatment plan of some sort.

moahunter
17-07-2007, 03:41 PM
I think the real answer will lie in this:

The idea comes from the Edmonton Community Drug Strategy Task Force, a four-year project that gave its final report to council today.

I'm sure this recommendation won't be including a day shelter for drug addicts to come and go from as they please.

Sure they can come in high... but the aim would be to get them on a treatment plan of some sort.

Fair enough, maybe my gripe is more with some other shelters I drive by in the city (although I have my doubts).

I believe the idea of picking people off the street and changing them is almost impossible.

In my experience, it often takes some dramatic or life affecting event to initiate a desire for change (for example, family violence, losing custody of a child, an overdose, imprisonment, or similar). I would like to see as much focus as possible on resources and facilities targetting at these sort of times, in preference to establishing shelters in the city for anyone within a certain age group or similar.

metro
17-07-2007, 03:45 PM
I find it interesting that only certain opinions are credible to certain people. Not everyone is a victim. People make choices and they need to live with them. At some point everyone had a choice about taking drugs or not. I agree with moahunter, we should not be making it too easy for society's "victims" to sustain their lifestyle. Carry on being offended, feepa.

DebraW
17-07-2007, 03:51 PM
I find it interesting that only certain opinions are credible to certain people. Not everyone is a victim. People make choices and they need to live with them. At some point everyone had a choice about taking drugs or not.

Could you explain this? I am not sure what the point was maybe I am being a bit dense today.

I agree not everyone is a victim and BOY do I agree that at some point everyone who is drug addicted made a choice about taking that first drug or smoke or whatever.

I agree with moahunter, we should not be making it too easy for society's "victims" to sustain their lifestyle. Carry on being offended, feepa.

I don't agree with this though, we are not making it too easy we are simply providing resources (shelter and AADAC counselling etc. ) to enable them to HELP themselves.

DebraW
17-07-2007, 04:03 PM
Poll on forced drug treatment for Alberta youth.

http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4158&highlight=

dwells
17-07-2007, 04:08 PM
There is a lot more like her out there and you can thank Ralph Klein's health cuts in the 1990's for that.
No, this is not the politicians' doing.

This is the result of social activism.

Many of the people in this demographic WERE kept at Alberta Hospital, but a movement of well meaning lobbyists were able to force social-services policy change. Now the same group blames all levels of government and tries to extort money to deal with the problem.

metro
17-07-2007, 04:11 PM
It seems that moahunter was being attacked for stating an opinion that was not popular with a number of C2E members. We need to agree to disagree on some issues. I find that sometimes people who lean left on the political spectrum are not very tolerant, or respectful toward right leaning opinions. Some of the retorts to maohunter's comments are almost at the point of being intolerant. At the very least I consider them to be condescending.

Chump
17-07-2007, 04:14 PM
The detox centre is a great example (spent a few days there as a student on elective). It allows acutely intoxicated people to detox in a medically safe environment, and initiates rehab. Yes, many relapse.

I completely agree with the premise that more effort should go into prevention, rehab, etc etc.

But in the meantime, what are you going to do to deal with those in immediate need?

Sure you can spend all the time and money in the world to teach people to be better drivers, but cars will still need airbags - accidents will happen. These places are the airbags. Putting airbags in cars doesn't condone bad driving. Sorry, bad analogy perhaps.

Not to change the subject, but this reminds me of the safe-needle exchange program. Many people see that as condoning drug addiction. It doesn't. It takes a while to wrap one's head around that (took me a long time), but think of it from a medical / public health point of view. Its a way of keeping these people from contracting blood borne diseases while trying to rehabilitate. It also helps lower the prevalence and possible spread of those conditions in the public at large.

Dusty Bear
17-07-2007, 04:23 PM
I am disappointed by the lack of basic human decency and compassion shown by you, moahunter and metro.

Regardless of the dumb, self-destructive choices people make in their lives, as a civil society we can - at the very least - ensure that these people have somewhere warm and safe to stay at night. Edmonton is a winter city - they will freeze on the streets.

Giving people somewhere to sleep at night is not supporting the choices they make; it is simply being concerned about fellow human beings. Nor is it naive. Charity workers realize that many of these people are "hopeless" cases, but recognize that they are still people. These are people's sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers. While we may disagree with their lifestyle, they deserve to be treated as human.


Some of the retorts to maohunter's comments are almost at the point of being intolerant. At the very least I consider them to be condescending.

The responses to moahunter have been very civil. While people certainly dispute his statements and attitude, no one has insulted him personally. If there is anything condescending or intolerant in this thread, it's moahunter's attitude towards about street people.

By the way, disrespect is not a left/right issue. There are members of both groups who can be equally abhorrent to one another.

moahunter
17-07-2007, 04:31 PM
I actually grew up in a poor neighborhood riddled with gang problems. This influenced me, I learned that many well meaning people get taken for a ride.

I do think we are encouraging and supporting a dysfunctional lifestyle. That lifestyle is becoming more and more appealing, and less and less scary. Here’s my impression of the day of a druggie in Edmonton:

1. commit some illegal activity to get money
2. use money to buy drugs
3. shoot up drugs for pleasurable experience
4. go to appropriate shelter and tell sad sack story to do-gooder / counselors, etc.
5. hopefully do-gooder provides free food and accommodation (if not, go somewhere else next time).
6. if tell good enough story, maybe get free methadone too! (hopefully it's not this easy)

I'm not saying we can't help people. We can. Unfortunatley, the people we can help are typically those in a crisis situation. We are not going to convert the individual above no matter how many counselors and well meaning citizens talk to them. Lets face it, odds are some friend or family member has already tried this.

PS As someone who has a blood borne disease, I actually don't have a problem with safe injection sites / neddles for public health reasons.

RichardS
17-07-2007, 04:31 PM
By the way, disrespect is not a left/right issue. There are members of both groups who can be equally abhorrent to one another.

amen

Glenco
17-07-2007, 04:51 PM
I am disappointed by the lack of basic human decency and compassion shown by you, moahunter and metro.

Regardless of the dumb, self-destructive choices people make in their lives, as a civil society we can - at the very least - ensure that these people have somewhere warm and safe to stay at night. Edmonton is a winter city - they will freeze on the streets.

Giving people somewhere to sleep at night is not supporting the choices they make; it is simply being concerned about fellow human beings. Nor is it naive. Charity workers realize that many of these people are "hopeless" cases, but recognize that they are still people. These are people's sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers. While we may disagree with their lifestyle, they deserve to be treated as human.


Some of the retorts to maohunter's comments are almost at the point of being intolerant. At the very least I consider them to be condescending.

The responses to moahunter have been very civil. While people certainly dispute his statements and attitude, no one has insulted him personally. If there is anything condescending or intolerant in this thread, it's moahunter's attitude towards about street people.

By the way, disrespect is not a left/right issue. There are members of both groups who can be equally abhorrent to one another.
To think that people who do not agree with you are not decent or compassionate is very arrogant. By providing panhandlers with money or any other form of charity is teaching them one thing and that is to be a beggar. They absolve themselves of all responsibilty for their own well being because comeone else is willing to do it for them. Peolple who jump to their rescue only help to perpetuate their condition and do very little to resolve the issue.

dwells
17-07-2007, 05:11 PM
1. commit some illegal activity to get money
2. use money to buy drugs
3. shoot up drugs for pleasurable experience
4. go to appropriate shelter and tell sad sack story to do-gooder / counselors, etc.
5. hopefully do-gooder provides free food and accommodation (if not, go somewhere else next time).
6. if tell good enough story, maybe get free methadone too!

I'm not saying we can't help people. We can.
Assuming that you're right, what do you think we can do to break this cycle?

The problem, as I see it, is that there are very many subgroups that get tarred with the same politically correct brush. If we don't recognize the differences between the needs of these groups, we can not provide for their specific needs.

Using Chump's car analogy, it's like having a parking lot full of cars - all makes & models - and trying to find one tire that fits them all.

moahunter
17-07-2007, 05:23 PM
1. commit some illegal activity to get money
2. use money to buy drugs
3. shoot up drugs for pleasurable experience
4. go to appropriate shelter and tell sad sack story to do-gooder / counselors, etc.
5. hopefully do-gooder provides free food and accommodation (if not, go somewhere else next time).
6. if tell good enough story, maybe get free methadone too!

I'm not saying we can't help people. We can.
Assuming that you're right, what do you think we can do to break this cycle?

The problem, as I see it, is that there are very many subgroups that get tarred with the same politically correct brush. If we don't recognize the differences between the needs of these groups, we can not provide for their specific needs.

Using Chump's car analogy, it's like having a parking lot full of cars - all makes & models - and trying to find one tire that fits them all.

We can't help everyone. We can't break this cycle (although we don't have to support it either).

My focus would be to direct help at individuals in crisis situations. Providing more beds, as the city is planning, may just make things worse. That 2 million dollars would be better spent IMO in a controlled drug rehabilitation program, Woman's sheltor resources, enhanced foster care programs (18-24 is probably already too late), perhaps school drug prevention/education programs (focusing on disease risks), etc.

Dusty Bear
17-07-2007, 05:25 PM
To think that people who do not agree with you are not decent or compassionate is very arrogant.

Glenco, it is not arrogant to say that I think their actions showed a lack of compassion. Did I say that as people they lack compassion or decency? Do not put words into my mouth.


By providing panhandlers with money or any other form of charity is teaching them one thing and that is to be a beggar. They absolve themselves of all responsibilty for their own well being because comeone else is willing to do it for them. Peolple who jump to their rescue only help to perpetuate their condition and do very little to resolve the issue.

Believe it or not, I largely agree with you. I do not provide money to panhandlers for that very reason.

I do not agree, however, that providing a warm safe shelter for the night is the same as perpetuating their actions. Do you honestly believe that these people would suddenly realize the errors of their ways and take personal responsibility if we stopped providing shelter to them?

I'm pretty sure you don't think that way. In fact, I'm pretty sure you realize some of these people would die on the streets.

People are not so simple as economists would have us believe. The world is not so black and white that if we just left these people to face the consequences of their actions they'd clean up. To believe THAT would be naive.

Not one of us can claim perfection. What we can do is look out for one another, even if we do sometimes make stupid decisions. We've all needed a hand at some point in our lives.

I, for one, think it speaks poorly of a society that would knowingly let those in need die on the streets.

Moahunter, this is off topic, but I have a question about your nickname. The moa is a large, flightless bird that is believed to have been hunted to extinction. By picking such a name, is it your intent to be inflammatory?

moahunter
17-07-2007, 05:35 PM
I do not agree, however, that providing a warm safe shelter for the night is the same as perpetuating their actions. Do you honestly believe that these people would suddenly realize the errors of their ways and take personal responsibility if we stopped providing shelter to them?

I'm pretty sure you don't think that way. In fact, I'm pretty sure you realize some of these people would die on the streets.

That warm safe sheltor just makes this lifestyle look more attractive for teenage kids. This lifestyle has its appeal, no responsibility, freedom, pleasure from drugs, cool drug culture, etc. We can add in "warm and safe sheltor".

It would be sad to see more people dying in the streets, but this happens now. People die in homes from gang violence as well, or from eating too much. In fact, we are all going to die at some point.

There is a consequnce for our choices in life. I suspect many of those on the streets would find somewhere warm if they had too (with relatives or similar).

moahunter
17-07-2007, 05:39 PM
Moahunter, this is off topic, but I have a question about your nickname. The moa is a large, flightless bird that is believed to have been hunted to extinction. By picking such a name, is it your intent to be inflammatory?

It's just something that connects me to my past. The Maori, and the Moahunters, are, and were, a very noble people. Like all New Zealanders, I learned some Maori at school, and oddly enough, I actually have a little Maori blood (not much!).

I would love to see the Canadian education system spend more time celebrating the history and acheivements of Canada's first nations.

Dusty Bear
17-07-2007, 05:50 PM
I get the feeling that we're starting to argue in circles.




I would love to see the Canadian education system spend more time celebrating the history and acheivements of Canada's first nations.

At least I can agree wholeheartedly with you on this point.

dwells
17-07-2007, 05:56 PM
People are not so simple as economists would have us believe. The world is not so black and white that if we just left these people to face the consequences of their actions they'd clean up. To believe THAT would be naive.

Not one of us can claim perfection. What we can do is look out for one another, even if we do sometimes make stupid decisions. We've all needed a hand at some point in our lives.

I, for one, think it speaks poorly of a society that would knowingly let those in need die on the streets.
What are you trying to say here?

I am left with the impression of empty platitudes and empty rhetoric that boils down to: "Something is wrong but I don't know what. Someone has to do something about it but I don't know what."

Dusty Bear
17-07-2007, 06:02 PM
What are you trying to say here?

I am left with the impression of empty platitudes and empty rhetoric that boils down to: "Something is wrong but I don't know what. Someone has to do something about it but I don't know what."

What I'm saying is pretty simple. Providing shelter to drug addicts is a better alternative than letting them die on the streets.

It's not a solution to their addiction and I am not claiming it is.

dwells
17-07-2007, 06:04 PM
I would love to see the Canadian education system spend more time celebrating the history and acheivements of Canada's first nations.
I would love to see the Alberta education system spend more time teaching responsibility and respect.

That would be the first step in cleaning up this and many other ills our society suffers in this decade.

lux
17-07-2007, 06:06 PM
These shelters are for people that want to get help. They are not being built to support a lifestyle. These places will not condone the continued use of drugs while in recovery.
Drug addiction is a mental disability... even if someone starts into by choice.

I'm sorry, but I almost feel offended by topic of this thread. Very definitely narrowminded me me me thinking.

I've bolded the part you don't seem to understand moahunter

Task force chair Gary Nelson said the shelter would provide beds for youth from age 18 to 24 who are addicted. It will also give them food and medical attention, and help them get back on the medications they need to deal with their disorders, he said.

But what about this quote:

"A tolerant shelter wouldn't allow young people to use drugs or alcohol on the premises, but would allow them to come in while intoxicated."

How does that tie in with not condoning the use of drugs?

Don't worry about the consequnces this afternoon of getting wasted on the streets. We will still take you in and look after you tonight.

Moa, your premise is wrong. It is like saying that the hospitals would be a lot more effective if they stopped letting sick people in.

Without the shelter, these youth will be using drugs and disconnected from any support services. With the shelter, these youth will be using drugs and in contact with support services.

No young person seriously thinks "Gee Whiz, this whole "meth" thing seemed great when I read the brochure, but I'm worried about accommodation. I think I'll pass. Oh, wait! What's this about a shelter opening?"

A shelter like this is not an incentive to use meth - almost every young person who tries drugs and gets in way over their heads and winds up in a shelter feels like an ***. Any services that make a difference don't make a special effort to rub it in, they just invite them not to feel that way, explain the consequences of different options, and help them do the hard work of getting back on track.

I am at pains to imagine an effective alternative. Helping people is not more effective by driving by someone who literally is in the gutter and offering advice. How could that be seen as anything less than smug?

In Brasil, the Police just discreetly shoot street people. If we want to make that the debate then fine. Short of that, I have said before that a person's liberty is only of value when it is used to enhance their security or their dignity. If their liberty undermines those things, then it is not in my view a problem to deprive people of it. In other words, I have no problem if there are treatment programs with locks on the outside of the doors.

Even that is controversial with many people differing on the purpose of liberty. So the only sort of intervention that comes close to a consensus is a voluntary program, like this one. And it is still cheaper to support this kind of program than place extra burdens on emergency rooms and jails.

I'd be pleased to support compulsory interventions for some cases. In some cases, voluntary treatment is effective and this is a good example of the sort that can be effective. In other cases I would go further, but I still think this is worth doing.

dwells
17-07-2007, 06:07 PM
What I'm saying is pretty simple. Providing shelter to drug addicts is a better alternative than letting them die on the streets.
Thanks for helping me with that, the original phrasing was WAY over my head. (still is) :)

dwells
17-07-2007, 06:13 PM
Moa, your premise is wrong. It is like saying that the hospitals would be a lot more effective if they stopped letting sick people in.
Well the article must have left out the part that these shelters will be treatment centers like hospitals are.

lux
17-07-2007, 06:14 PM
There are consequences to our choices in life. To the extent that the consequences are someone's own business, so be it. However, one's own consequences are usually accompanied o by an entourage of consequences for the rest of us.

Where people can't get out from under the consequences they have created, I am willing to help to a certain extent, and particularly when their consequences extend beyond themselves to me and the rest of the community.

I don't believe a well-designed program would coddle the participant; it should have a pay-off for the individual and for the rest of us. The fact that people show up intoxicated is in my mind not a hindrance; it is just indicative of where they are at. People show up at school ignorant of certain facts; people show up at a clinic with an illness. There is an expectation of improvement. The same can apply here, but they don't start the process with independent good judgement.

dwells
17-07-2007, 06:35 PM
That warm safe sheltor just makes this lifestyle look more attractive for teenage kids. This lifestyle has its appeal, no responsibility, freedom, pleasure from drugs, cool drug culture, etc. We can add in "warm and safe sheltor".

It would be sad to see more people dying in the streets, but this happens now. People die in homes from gang violence as well, or from eating too much. In fact, we are all going to die at some point.

There is a consequnce for our choices in life. I suspect many of those on the streets would find somewhere warm if they had too (with relatives or similar).
There is a lot of truth in this and in one version or another, many first nations chiefs have said the same thing. By giving one everything he needs, there is no room for ambition and self improvement.

How can the bed in the shelter be parlayed into education and an improved lifestyle?

Dusty Bear
17-07-2007, 06:49 PM
How can the bed in the shelter be parlayed into education and an improved lifestyle?

From the article:

Task force chair Gary Nelson said the shelter would provide beds for youth from age 18 to 24 who are addicted. It will also give them food and medical attention, and help them get back on the medications they need to deal with their disorders, he said.

I'm also assuming shelter staff would help connect them with any other resources they need, i.e. access to rehab, counselling etc. I would expect that much, in any event.

DebraW
17-07-2007, 06:59 PM
Regardless of the dumb, self-destructive choices people make in their lives, as a civil society we can - at the very least - ensure that these people have somewhere warm and safe to stay at night. Edmonton is a winter city - they will freeze on the streets.

Giving people somewhere to sleep at night is not supporting the choices they make; it is simply being concerned about fellow human beings. Nor is it naive. Charity workers realize that many of these people are "hopeless" cases, but recognize that they are still people. These are people's sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers. While we may disagree with their lifestyle, they deserve to be treated as human.

By the way, disrespect is not a left/right issue. There are members of both groups who can be equally abhorrent to one another.

^ I could not put any of these sentiments better myself.

EVERYONE deserves to be treated with respect and kindness no matter the direction their lives have taken them.

dwells
17-07-2007, 07:05 PM
From the article:

Task force chair Gary Nelson said the shelter would provide beds for youth from age 18 to 24 who are addicted. It will also give them food and medical attention, and help them get back on the medications they need to deal with their disorders, he said.

I'm also assuming shelter staff would help connect them with any other resources they need, i.e. access to rehab, counselling etc. I would expect that much, in any event.
Thanks, DB, that didn't sink in when I read the article.
Here's another piece that went by me too quick:

set up a tolerant shelter for young addicts with mental disorders.
That is exactly what we need - to identify and treat people with methods appropriate to their needs. One solution does not fit all.

kcantor
17-07-2007, 07:06 PM
To think that people who do not agree with you are not decent or compassionate is very arrogant.

Glenco, it is not arrogant to say that I think their actions showed a lack of compassion. Did I say that as people they lack compassion or decency? Do not put words into my mouth.


By providing panhandlers with money or any other form of charity is teaching them one thing and that is to be a beggar. They absolve themselves of all responsibilty for their own well being because comeone else is willing to do it for them. Peolple who jump to their rescue only help to perpetuate their condition and do very little to resolve the issue.

Believe it or not, I largely agree with you. I do not provide money to panhandlers for that very reason.

I do not agree, however, that providing a warm safe shelter for the night is the same as perpetuating their actions. Do you honestly believe that these people would suddenly realize the errors of their ways and take personal responsibility if we stopped providing shelter to them?

I'm pretty sure you don't think that way. In fact, I'm pretty sure you realize some of these people would die on the streets.

People are not so simple as economists would have us believe. The world is not so black and white that if we just left these people to face the consequences of their actions they'd clean up. To believe THAT would be naive.

Not one of us can claim perfection. What we can do is look out for one another, even if we do sometimes make stupid decisions. We've all needed a hand at some point in our lives.

I, for one, think it speaks poorly of a society that would knowingly let those in need die on the streets.

Moahunter, this is off topic, but I have a question about your nickname. The moa is a large, flightless bird that is believed to have been hunted to extinction. By picking such a name, is it your intent to be inflammatory?
Being on holidays hasn't changed my ability to be cranky or to disagree with others so on this topic I will jump in by disagreeing with both sides. While Dusty Bear says "disrespect is not a left/right issue. There are members of both groups who can be equally abhorrent to one another", I would go so far as to day that on both the left/right, there are members of both "sides" who have views and attitudes that are as abhorrent to their "own side" as they are to the "other side". Whether one feels that additional "services" in whatever form and with or without any "conditions" attached is an appropriate part of an overall long-term solution or whether one feels that providing those very same "services" in the very same manner is an impediment to reaching an overall long-term solution, either side can legitimately claim respect and compassion for those among us who are most often denied it. There is no left/right, black/white, right or wrong here except not caring at all.

dwells
17-07-2007, 07:09 PM
EVERYONE deserves to be treated with respect and kindness no matter the direction their lives have taken them.
The difficulty is knowing where to draw the line. Too often that kindness and respect becomes encouragement for their lifestyle and may even push the envelope in the wrong direction.

luxbeauty
17-07-2007, 07:28 PM
Every open door shelter makes this lifestyle a little easier, and makes the outcome of drugs a little less scary.

Please show me one non-streetperson (b/c if I was a living on the streets as a prostitute, you'd better believe i be a drug addict) who has ever said "No dude, I don't think I'll smoke that. There's no shelters who'll support me if I get addicted."

or conversely,

"Yeah, dude, I'll give it a try. Cause they've got these nifty shelters for me if my life turns to s**t."

People don't try/turn to/stay on drugs because they know the cushy shelters will make the outcome easier!

m0nkyman
17-07-2007, 09:09 PM
First. I've suffered through two break and enters, an armed robbery, and been stabbed by a junkie's used needle. All because of junkies.

I'm about as unsympathetic to street junkies as anybody. Short of the shooting them in the head thing, I'm pretty supportive of punishing them for their crimes.

Having said that, programs like this do save lives. And hopefully will connect some of these young people with civilized society again.

I do know that giving up on them isn't going to work.

I still think that we also need a justice system with teeth. That's the real problem right now. Not letting junkies die on the street isn't.

DebraW
17-07-2007, 09:31 PM
EVERYONE deserves to be treated with respect and kindness no matter the direction their lives have taken them.
The difficulty is knowing where to draw the line. Too often that kindness and respect becomes encouragement for their lifestyle and may even push the envelope in the wrong direction.

^ I do not agree there is no line just as to me there is no confusion on what is right and wrong.

I have never taken an illegal drug or smoked anything period. My only way of anesthetizing myself against life's challenges has been through food (Anorexia and overeating) but drug addictions are a mystery to me.

I do have a dear friend who I have been helping for the last 8 months or so whose ***** (yes, I call him this to his face) husband decided one night to just "try" Meth.

I still cannot wrap my head around how a grown man with a wife and children can one day decide to experiment with a drug that is known to be instantly addictive.

In less than a year this man (who was my original friend) has lost everything.

Friends tried interventions when we realized he was in trouble which only drove him out on the streets in anger.

He was allowed to "resign" from his job which is far more than I think he deserved at that point.

He has blown every penny of savings and written off several vehicles, lost his wife, his home and has affected his children for the rest of their lives.

For what--a high that apparently can never be achieved again but is always sought after.

I still do not understand how a person could do this to themselves or their family BUT since he has been in rehabilitation I would do anything for him that enables his to stay clean and get better.

I would not give him money to buy drugs (EVER) but as long as he is taking steps to help himself and overcome his addiction I will "enable" him in so far as I will be his friend and be supportive of him making good choices.

Am I naive? Perhaps, but I never want to live in a world where we stop caring about people just because they have made some (VERY) poor choices.

moahunter
17-07-2007, 10:26 PM
EVERYONE deserves to be treated with respect and kindness no matter the direction their lives have taken them.
The difficulty is knowing where to draw the line. Too often that kindness and respect becomes encouragement for their lifestyle and may even push the envelope in the wrong direction.

^ I do not agree there is no line just as to me there is no confusion on what is right and wrong.

I have never taken an illegal drug or smoked anything period. My only way of anesthetizing myself against life's challenges has been through food (Anorexia and overeating) but drug addictions are a mystery to me.

I do have a dear friend who I have been helping for the last 8 months or so whose ***** (yes, I call him this to his face) husband decided one night to just "try" Meth.

I still cannot wrap my head around how a grown man with a wife and children can one day decide to experiment with a drug that is known to be instantly addictive.

In less than a year this man (who was my original friend) has lost everything.

Friends tried interventions when we realized he was in trouble which only drove him out on the streets in anger.

He was allowed to "resign" from his job which is far more than I think he deserved at that point.

He has blown every penny of savings and written off several vehicles, lost his wife, his home and has affected his children for the rest of their lives.

For what--a high that apparently can never be achieved again but is always sought after.

I still do not understand how a person could do this to themselves or their family BUT since he has been in rehabilitation I would do anything for him that enables his to stay clean and get better.

I would not give him money to buy drugs (EVER) but as long as he is taking steps to help himself and overcome his addiction I will "enable" him in so far as I will be his friend and be supportive of him making good choices.

Am I naive? Perhaps, but I never want to live in a world where we stop caring about people just because they have made some (VERY) poor choices.

You are not naive because you are trying to help a specific person who has a relationship to you. I wish you good luck, but I know from personal experience that your odds of success are not high. In the case I was involved in, we ultimatley had to step away, as so many friends and family are forced to do. It can be a frustrating and thankless experience.

But in my eyes, this is also an example of why it is almost impossible for an outsider to come in and convert an individual who is in such a spiral and has not themselves sought help. All the messages they receive will not be new, they will be the same ones that friends and family have already tried. Perhaps an exception is a mental health facility that can identify more fundamental underlying problems (e.g. fear of responsibility) driving the adiction that family may not be able to spot or deal with (due to the pressures family inadvertently apply).

The best odds in my eyes are at the outset (like you are trying), or later on, at some critical crisis moment (like an overdoes, criminal event, etc).

There have been quite a few articles in the papers recently of middle class men (sometimes John's who pick up the habits of their hookers) falling into the drug addiction / shelter spiral. I actually think there is an attraction to this lifestyle beyond the pleasure of the drugs (feedom, avoiding responsibilities, etc.), and am not sure if it is ever quite as simple as having taken one drug and becoming hooked.

moahunter
17-07-2007, 10:31 PM
First. I've suffered through two break and enters, an armed robbery, and been stabbed by a junkie's used needle. All because of junkies.

I'm about as unsympathetic to street junkies as anybody. Short of the shooting them in the head thing, I'm pretty supportive of punishing them for their crimes.

Having said that, programs like this do save lives. And hopefully will connect some of these young people with civilized society again.

I do know that giving up on them isn't going to work.

I still think that we also need a justice system with teeth. That's the real problem right now. Not letting junkies die on the street isn't.

I find it interesting that this shelter is descibed as being focused on mental health and treatment (i.e. drug abuse and methadone), yet it is a “tolerant” place with beds for those who need it.

If this was a targetted proposal, perhaps a new medical facility aimed at rehabilitating and cleaning up young drug users, I would be comfortable with it. This could be done in a controlled setting (probably not on the streets though). But if this truley was the aim, shouldn't this be paid for by Capital Health rather than the City of Edmonton (or a partnership?)

Can you treat a drug user in a tolerant environment, not separated from influences that may be driving and supporting the addiction? I have severe doubts.

My fear is that this shelter will end up little different from the others we have in Edmonton, just providing another location for homeless people to go.

I would be interested in knowing what measurement metrics our city proposes to use before spending our money on this. For example, have they designed SMART goals, whereby we can review this in a years time? Perhaps there could be a goal of succesfully treating, say, 5% of visitors to the shelter, such that they are clean of drugs six months after treatment?

I don't think this will happen though. Without such metrics, the reality is this shelter will likely become no different from the other shelters in the city. And once we have it, it will be there for good.

Replacement
17-07-2007, 11:18 PM
I do think we are encouraging and supporting a dysfunctional lifestyle. That lifestyle is becoming more and more appealing, and less and less scary. Here’s my impression of the day of a druggie in Edmonton:

1. commit some illegal activity to get money
2. use money to buy drugs
3. shoot up drugs for pleasurable experience
4. go to appropriate shelter and tell sad sack story to do-gooder / counselors, etc.
5. hopefully do-gooder provides free food and accommodation (if not, go somewhere else next time).
6. if tell good enough story, maybe get free methadone too! (hopefully it's not this easy)


Living on the streets! The new hip downtown lifestyle choice.

Beat the Street magazine soon to be found right next to all the free glossy "condo" mags..

dwells
18-07-2007, 07:11 AM
EVERYONE deserves to be treated with respect and kindness no matter the direction their lives have taken them.
The difficulty is knowing where to draw the line. Too often that kindness and respect becomes encouragement for their lifestyle and may even push the envelope in the wrong direction.

^ I do not agree there is no line just as to me there is no confusion on what is right and wrong.

...
I understand that this is personal and painful to you, and I offer my sympathy.

But this does not disagree with my stated position that one solution does not fit all, rather it is an affirmation of it.

You may also have misunderstood the "draw the line" remark. It is not to withdraw support, but to be careful not to offer so much that it discourages attempts to alter the lifestyle.

Maxter
18-07-2007, 09:25 AM
I think most would agree that there is a distinction between "helping a person survive" and "helping a person change".

Providing basic food and shelter is in the "survival" category. Most people naturally want to help others who face live-threatening deprivation. Even drug-addled violent people need some sort of societal consideration, minimal as it may be.

Helping a person change (get off drugs, get a job, get educated) can only really happen when the person wants to change. This is a far more complicated issue.

I wish everyone would take responsibility for life choices but the mysterious fact is that there seems to always be that percentage of society that won't.

In my mind, solutions to making better choices lies in parenting. Good parents usually have good kids. Problem is - it takes a generation to see the difference that good policies which support that thought can make.

Focus on early education, proper child care.

Glenco
18-07-2007, 01:48 PM
EVERYONE deserves to be treated with respect and kindness no matter the direction their lives have taken them.
The difficulty is knowing where to draw the line. Too often that kindness and respect becomes encouragement for their lifestyle and may even push the envelope in the wrong direction.

^ I do not agree there is no line just as to me there is no confusion on what is right and wrong.

...
I understand that this is personal and painful to you, and I offer my sympathy.

But this does not disagree with my stated position that one solution does not fit all, rather it is an affirmation of it.

You may also have misunderstood the "draw the line" remark. It is not to withdraw support, but to be careful not to offer so much that it discourages attempts to alter the lifestyle.
This wishy washy approach of withdrawing some support but not all support will never work. It just perpetuates the situation for a lot longer than necessary. All support should be withdrawn until the indivual is willing to show socially acceptable behavior. Yes I know it is brutal and very painful for everyone but this is for the most part the only way to get some people's attention. It does not work 100% but then again nothing does. In the mean time while all of the bleeding hearts are looking for the 100% solution the problem is only getting worse. As individuals we are not responsible for someone else's bad choices. Pretending to do something about it only makes the giver feel good about themselves. It does not solve the problem.

Renton
18-07-2007, 09:43 PM
1. commit some illegal activity to get money
2. use money to buy drugs
3. shoot up drugs for pleasurable experience
4. go to appropriate shelter and tell sad sack story to do-gooder / counselors, etc.
5. hopefully do-gooder provides free food and accommodation (if not, go somewhere else next time).
6. if tell good enough story, maybe get free methadone too! (hopefully it's not this easy)


Up to this point, I felt no desire to respond to this post. I didn't necessarily agree with you (nor did I entirely disagree), but I could just chalk it up to slightly different social/political outlooks, whatever.... move on.
But if this is honestly how you think, then I've definitely got an objection. I realize that the above is just an imaginary anecdote, but the simplicity of it also comes across as extremely naive. Especially the bit about "shoot up drugs for pleasure". Remember, these are addictions we're dealing with here. The physiological implications of substance addictions are far more complex than merely "feeling good". I know it's easy to simply point your finger and say you made a bad decision, now live with the consequences, but I think we can all agree that we're not dealing with simple "will power" here. And if we can't agree on that, then I guess we're a lot further apart than I originally gathered.

Renton
18-07-2007, 09:44 PM
sorry double post

Dakine
18-07-2007, 09:54 PM
ive never cared much for Mandel but seeing this gives me a little support for the dude. It shows he cares, believe it or not but when some junkie or some homless person sees that we do care and want to help them it can change there lives. some will stick with there loser life but there will be some that willl change, good job bud!

North Guy66
18-07-2007, 10:49 PM
ive never cared much for Mandel but seeing this gives me a little support for the dude. It shows he cares, believe it or not but when some junkie or some homless person sees that we do care and want to help them it can change there lives. some will stick with there loser life but there will be some that willl change, good job bud!

Holy smokes Dakine. I'm impressed!

DebraW
19-07-2007, 03:10 PM
Edmonton Community Drug Strategy

Introduction

In late 2003, key community officials and representatives from all levels of government met in Edmonton. They were convinced that the harms caused by alcohol and drug misuse among Edmonton’s young people could be better addressed by coordinating existing resources and focusing on the young and vulnerable as priority groups. After a series of workshops and meetings, they concluded that building a safe, vibrant and healthy community involved understanding the problems, finding common ground and working together to find solutions.

Thus began the Edmonton Community Drug Strategy (ECDS), a call to action for governments, community leaders, agencies and organizations to develop an Edmonton strategy targeting young people up to 24 years of age, with an emphasis on preventing and reducing the harmful impacts of alcohol and illicit drug misuse.

Our Mandate

The success of the ECDS comes from maintaining and building on our city’s comprehensive range of services. Our focus is on fostering the development and maintenance of networks at all levels of government and agency activity including community leaders, the service delivery sector, grassroots groups such as neighborhood groups, parent groups, youth groups, etc. Our key goals are:

Enhancing coordination of access to information and experience, best practice models and approaches, community input, and
Advocating with a common voice for core funding and effective policy.

Our Mission

To develop and implement an Edmonton community drug strategy targeting young people up to 24 years of age with an emphasis on preventing and reducing the impacts of alcohol and illicit drug use and abuse.

Our Vision

We believe that all young people in Edmonton should have the opportunity to live their lives free from the harmful impacts of alcohol and illicit drugs.

-30-

mick
20-07-2007, 04:29 AM
I'm sorry but this logic is simply flawed. Essentially the argument seems to be shelters and addiction treatment centres encourage (ie. create a demand) homelessness and addiction. Therefore, if we had no shelters/treatment centres we would have no homeless/addicted? This seems to be a classic example of misattributing cause (http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/questionable-cause.html). It reminds me of those who once argued that providing teenagers with sex education or access to condoms encourages them to have sex.

I'm sure that from when the first society formed, that society had to grapple with how to deal with the weakest most vulnerable among them. I'm also sure there were those in the Victorian era that thought the Dickensian work houses were too soft, a drain on fine upstanding citizens, and encouraged people to be poor. Time has a way of making those points of view seem crass.

I'm pretty sure if anyone is interested enough to do some research, there will be a long line of social science research saying the exact opposite of Moahunter's orignial thesis.

moahunter
20-07-2007, 02:30 PM
1. commit some illegal activity to get money
2. use money to buy drugs
3. shoot up drugs for pleasurable experience
4. go to appropriate shelter and tell sad sack story to do-gooder / counselors, etc.
5. hopefully do-gooder provides free food and accommodation (if not, go somewhere else next time).
6. if tell good enough story, maybe get free methadone too! (hopefully it's not this easy)


Up to this point, I felt no desire to respond to this post. I didn't necessarily agree with you (nor did I entirely disagree), but I could just chalk it up to slightly different social/political outlooks, whatever.... move on.
But if this is honestly how you think, then I've definitely got an objection. I realize that the above is just an imaginary anecdote, but the simplicity of it also comes across as extremely naive. Especially the bit about "shoot up drugs for pleasure". Remember, these are addictions we're dealing with here. The physiological implications of substance addictions are far more complex than merely "feeling good". I know it's easy to simply point your finger and say you made a bad decision, now live with the consequences, but I think we can all agree that we're not dealing with simple "will power" here. And if we can't agree on that, then I guess we're a lot further apart than I originally gathered.

Drugs are very pleasurable - this is why people take them. No-one would take drugs if they did not result in some form of buzz that was enjoyable. Anyone who has been drunk, stoned, or addicted to cigarettes, should understand this. To give up drugs is to give up one of lifes pleasures.

I do feel that anyone can quit any particular drug if they fundamentaly want to, or have the mental capacity to do so. It's difficult, but its possible. But we are naive to imagine that every drug user truley wants to quit, any more than every alchoholic or gambler wants to quit.

Yes, drug use can lead to, or can have been caused by, mental illness. Where possible, we need to have facilities (Step up Province of Alberta) that can treat these conditions in a controlled setting. However, I severly doubt treatment can work in a tolerant shelter while drug use continues.

Many people lead very tough lives, often children will already be unlikely to suceed at school by the time they arrive (thanks to poor parenting, etc). Where possible, we should try to break this cycle as early in someones life as we can. Spending money on foster care programs is to me an example of money well spent.

But at some point in life, we move from being children dependent upon our caregivers, to adults whose first responsibility is to care for ourselves. While we need support systems in place for mentally disabled, and similar, there need to be limits.

We don't live in a 19th century society where there was actually a lack of jobs, health care, income support and similar. There are many support systems already avaliable, and incredible opportunities to work here in Alberta. I suspect any poverty stricken person transplanted from Dickenson times to life on the streets in Edmonton today, would feel they had gone to heavan.

To me, an aimlessly provided lunch to a drunk or junkie is no better than giving them some cash to buy drugs. If adults are hungry enough, or cold enough, they will buy food or shelter. Each time we save a dollar from their daily expenses, we are simply giving another dollar to be spent on drugs. Naive charity that makes people "feel good" about how they are "helping someone" often does little more than perpetuate and encourage a vicious cycle of dependence.

m0nkyman
20-07-2007, 03:01 PM
There is a fundamental disconnect here. You fail to understand the difference between an addiction that leads to a person sleeping in his/her own vomit and feces in a vermin infested alley and a social habit.

dwells
20-07-2007, 03:08 PM
There is a fundamental disconnect here. You fail to understand the difference between an addiction that leads to a person sleeping in his/her own vomit and feces in a vermin infested alley and a social habit.
Maybe they are different victims. In the broad spectrum of political correctness we fail to provide for both.

DebraW
20-07-2007, 03:08 PM
I'm sorry but this logic is simply flawed. Essentially the argument seems to be shelters and addiction treatment centres encourage (ie. create a demand) homelessness and addiction. Therefore, if we had no shelters/treatment centres we would have no homeless/addicted?

It reminds me of those who once argued that providing teenagers with sex education or access to condoms encourages them to have sex.

^ Good analogy.

moahunter
20-07-2007, 03:20 PM
There is a fundamental disconnect here. You fail to understand the difference between an addiction that leads to a person sleeping in his/her own vomit and feces in a vermin infested alley and a social habit.

Over time the drugs change, largely for the worse, but addictions have always existed, whether it be gambling, alcohol, glue sniffing (which was popular when I was a kid), etc. They tend to create an escape that is so strong, that the miseries are overidden, or less significant than an unadicted person would perceive them to be. Professional facilites (mental health hospitals, rehabs, etc.) can sometimes be effective (typically following a crises event).

What do you suggest? We build nice houses for the junkies and addicts so they don't have to sleep in a gutter? We are already providing them with free meals (hey, the city doesn't do that for me!).

In a way, we are already doing this I guess. Drugs are readily available in prisions, such that the cycle is not broken when prisoners leave. Anyone for blood testing prisoners for drugs while they are in prision, not just parole (oh no, that would breach someones "human rights")? But that's another story I guess.

m0nkyman
20-07-2007, 03:22 PM
We are already providing them with free meals (hey, the city doesn't do that for me!).

OK. Destroy your life, get addicted to a drug that permanently destroys your physical and mental health. You get free food out of the deal. Sure sounds like they're getting the best out of that deal. :roll:

moahunter
20-07-2007, 03:25 PM
We are already providing them with free meals (hey, the city doesn't do that for me!).

OK. Destroy your life, get addicted to a drug that permanently destroys your physical and mental health. You get free food out of the deal. Sure sounds like they're getting the best out of that deal. :roll:

It has its appeal, I know how enjoyable drugs can be. Why not go out in a bang of pleasure? Some choose to, its an escape.

I don't buy into the middle class myth that "bad drugs" turn "good people", "bad". Addiction is much more complex than this.

So where do you draw the line? Would you support the city buidling new rental condo's to house druggies too? Some would.

m0nkyman
20-07-2007, 03:33 PM
So where do you draw the line? Would you support the city buidling new rental condo's to house druggies too? Some would.

Only because I'm a cheap ******* (http://www.stophomelessness.ca/articles/Million%20Dollar%20Murray.pdf).

(it's a PDF link...)

moahunter
20-07-2007, 03:39 PM
So where do you draw the line? Would you support the city buidling new rental condo's to house druggies too? Some would.

Only because I'm a cheap ******* (http://www.stophomelessness.ca/articles/Million%20Dollar%20Murray.pdf).

(it's a PDF link...)

There's a logic to that, as long as it does not encourage.

I guess its a bit like the classic economists case for supporting smoking. Smokers will work through their productive years paying taxes, and cost a lot in medical shortly afterwoods, then die. But at least, we will have saved a fortune in old age pensions, those smokers having paid for all the non-smokers pensions over their productive lives etc. :roll:

femenigma
22-07-2007, 07:04 PM
I have worked in health and social services for most of my life! No one....no one...is going to change an addict of any sort..unless they are willing to change. You may have the best of intentions....but you can't make anyone do anything...even if you think it is "right".
I think Mayor Mandel's suggestion has merit..and some of these kids need medication for their mental illness, i.e. schizophrenia. Health care, and prescription medication may help to turn around the life of someone who is motivated to change. It may reduce the likelihood of using illicit drugs. The proposed program is short term, and admission is voluntary. It will not cure the masses. Many will not use the service as they have no desire to come off drugs or booze. That's reality. However, I think this forum is arguing about two seperate issues. The first is helping those who need help...and want it. This has merit. The second issue is the sub-culture of addictions and living on the street. The panhandling, the vagrancy, the "mobile homes" (a.k.a. shopping carts), the litter, and the feeling that Edmonton's downtown is being overtaken by street people. Remember, some of our street people actually have places to reside..but for much of the day and evening they are on the street, living a lifestyle they have chosen and are comfortable with. I have worked to find shelter and aid for many a person who subsequently chose to go back to the street. You can't force anyone to adopt your values and change...but you can ensure that your values and property are respected. That is why we have vagrancy laws. I for one would like to see them enforced more strictly.
We can, at the same time, provide services for those who want to turn their lives around, while at the same time taking a hard line on the drug and street sub-culture. I think to date we have provided many feeding and shelter services that have only encouraged a growing number of people to flock to Edmonton..and not deal with their issues.

If housing and feeding the masses were a solution for the homelessness and addictions problems...we would have expected to see some ongoing change in the problem. Instead, the problem is increasing. So if you keep on doing what you're doing..you'll keep getting what you've got.

Mr Mandel has suggested support of a program that has clear objectives, and will set limits, for anyone who wants to get help making their way out of their dilemma. I applaud that move.

Giving money to panhandlers, who have feeding and shelter resources available to them ensures the continued use of drugs and alcohol. Why would an addict spend their money on food and shelter, when someone else is doing that for them? If you want to help an addict, give your money to the service agencies who do a good job of mass feeding and sheltering..with no expectation fo changing people. Otherwise, your pocket change is saved for the purchase of their next drink or fix.

moahunter
03-08-2007, 12:16 PM
I have worked in health and social services for most of my life! No one....no one...is going to change an addict of any sort..unless they are willing to change. You may have the best of intentions....but you can't make anyone do anything...even if you think it is "right".
I think Mayor Mandel's suggestion has merit..and some of these kids need medication for their mental illness, i.e. schizophrenia. Health care, and prescription medication may help to turn around the life of someone who is motivated to change. It may reduce the likelihood of using illicit drugs. The proposed program is short term, and admission is voluntary. It will not cure the masses. Many will not use the service as they have no desire to come off drugs or booze. That's reality. However, I think this forum is arguing about two seperate issues. The first is helping those who need help...and want it. This has merit. The second issue is the sub-culture of addictions and living on the street. The panhandling, the vagrancy, the "mobile homes" (a.k.a. shopping carts), the litter, and the feeling that Edmonton's downtown is being overtaken by street people. Remember, some of our street people actually have places to reside..but for much of the day and evening they are on the street, living a lifestyle they have chosen and are comfortable with. I have worked to find shelter and aid for many a person who subsequently chose to go back to the street. You can't force anyone to adopt your values and change...but you can ensure that your values and property are respected. That is why we have vagrancy laws. I for one would like to see them enforced more strictly.
We can, at the same time, provide services for those who want to turn their lives around, while at the same time taking a hard line on the drug and street sub-culture. I think to date we have provided many feeding and shelter services that have only encouraged a growing number of people to flock to Edmonton..and not deal with their issues.

If housing and feeding the masses were a solution for the homelessness and addictions problems...we would have expected to see some ongoing change in the problem. Instead, the problem is increasing. So if you keep on doing what you're doing..you'll keep getting what you've got.

Mr Mandel has suggested support of a program that has clear objectives, and will set limits, for anyone who wants to get help making their way out of their dilemma. I applaud that move.

Giving money to panhandlers, who have feeding and shelter resources available to them ensures the continued use of drugs and alcohol. Why would an addict spend their money on food and shelter, when someone else is doing that for them? If you want to help an addict, give your money to the service agencies who do a good job of mass feeding and sheltering..with no expectation fo changing people. Otherwise, your pocket change is saved for the purchase of their next drink or fix.

You have presented a well reasoned and thought out post. You have an important point, that in starting this thread, I may not have truley understood the nature of the project being apporved (in my defence, I was having a rant :x ). I guess only time will tell what we end up with.

It is interesting to me the positive media attention that Hillary Duff received from her provision of food at the Hope Mission. While I respect that Hillary is doing this for the "right reasons", and is a far better role model than many or her peers accordingly, my wife and eye looked at the people being fed, and rolled our eyes. :roll: Not one of them looked hungry, in fact, many of them had pot bellys hanging out. Do we really gain by feeding these people in the middle of summer? By comparison, no-one has set up a kitchen to feed me yet :lol: Why are they more deserving, because they have acheived less by not providing for themselves?

DebraW
03-08-2007, 03:24 PM
It is interesting to me the positive media attention that Hillary Duff received from her provision of food at the Hope Mission. While I respect that Hillary is doing this for the "right reasons", and is a far better role model than many or her peers accordingly, my wife and eye looked at the people being fed, and rolled our eyes. :roll: Not one of them looked hungry, in fact, many of them had pot bellys hanging out. Do we really gain by feeding these people in the middle of summer? By comparison, no-one has set up a kitchen to feed me yet :lol: Why are they more deserving, because they have acheived less by not providing for themselves?

^ It costs more to feed oneself in a healthy manner than to eat high fat, starchy foods such as a "meal deals" at some fast food restaurants so while the people being "fed" had "pot-bellies" it is more likely due to them living a fast food “feast or famine” lifestyle then being overfed or certainly well-nourished.

ralph60
03-08-2007, 03:51 PM
djgirl I hate to disagree with you about the cost of nutritious food but a person can feed a family a balanced, nutritious diet for far less than fast food. All it takes is education and effort and not much of either.
For example, take a family of four. The bill at McDonalds is well over $20 for dinner. You can buy a Safeway roast chicken for $7.00, a bagged salad for $3.00 and potatos or rice for next to nothing. Add a can of frozen O.J. to drink and the bill is $12.00-13.00 for a family of four, and no real cooking skills are needed. If you cook the chicken yourself and make a real salad the price goes down further.
I have a house full of teenagers and while we eat more than our share of fast food I always make a point on the economics of home cooking, showing them the costs and savings of a meal.
The problem with nutrition is education and ignorance. I think that people have forgotten how to cook on a budget and have never learned how to shop.

DebraW
03-08-2007, 04:10 PM
djgirl I hate to disagree with you about the cost of nutritious food but a person can feed a family a balanced, nutritious diet for far less than fast food. All it takes is education and effort and not much of either.
For example, take a family of four. The bill at McDonalds is well over $20 for dinner. You can buy a Safeway roast chicken for $7.00, a bagged salad for $3.00 and potatos or rice for next to nothing. Add a can of frozen O.J. to drink and the bill is $12.00-13.00 for a family of four, and no real cooking skills are needed. If you cook the chicken yourself and make a real salad the price goes down further.
I have a house full of teenagers and while we eat more than our share of fast food I always make a point on the economics of home cooking, showing them the costs and savings of a meal.
The problem with nutrition is education and ignorance. I think that people have forgotten how to cook on a budget and have never learned how to shop.

I will disagree...the cost of a salad versus a "double cheeseburger meal" at the arches is considerably less.

Check out this link:

http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3097&highlight=esp+vibrant+communities

The focus group participants clearly identified eating healthy as a concern as a "disadvantaged" or working poor Edmontonian.

I should know, as I was one of those participants and I certainly know how to budget, shop and cook.

moahunter
03-08-2007, 05:03 PM
It is interesting to me the positive media attention that Hillary Duff received from her provision of food at the Hope Mission. While I respect that Hillary is doing this for the "right reasons", and is a far better role model than many or her peers accordingly, my wife and eye looked at the people being fed, and rolled our eyes. :roll: Not one of them looked hungry, in fact, many of them had pot bellys hanging out. Do we really gain by feeding these people in the middle of summer? By comparison, no-one has set up a kitchen to feed me yet :lol: Why are they more deserving, because they have acheived less by not providing for themselves?

^ It costs more to feed oneself in a healthy manner than to eat high fat, starchy foods such as a "meal deals" at some fast food restaurants so while the people being "fed" had "pot-bellies" it is more likely due to them living a fast food “feast or famine” lifestyle then being overfed or certainly well-nourished.

By that logic, we should not only feed the pot bellied homeless who eat at McDonalds, but also a large percentage of our busy, hard working, middle class, who resort to fast food to get by. Should we set up soup kitchens for them too? I'm sorry, but we just can't fix or correct everyones "poor" choices.

I agree that the key is education. Our school system has actually taken some good steps in this direction, and is doing a pretty good job (my son always talks about the food groups he has learnt about at school here - this is where good choices can start). This won't be corrected over night though, and some will always prefer convenience to health, just as some prefer drugs or alcohol to health.