Comment 34024

By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted September 22, 2009 at 16:45:12

I'm a little frustrated by the sweeping generalizations on both sides here.

Sure, there's hardworking poor people who have built this city and people legitimately disabled, and many seniors in scooters. I'd agree with the sentiment that I'd prefer them near me than another middle-class drunk.

But there's also lots of people who I really don't want to be around who don't provide any real contribution to the city. Just a few here... - People like the guy who gets on the bus with me in the morning, and gets off to beg downtown. It's not just Toronto where people leave their nice homes to beg with "homeless" signs. Not acceptable. - The drug dealers and their hangers-on. just... no. - And people who just plain don't wanna work and figure they'll hang out in a free, pleasant environment. (And I know how tempting/easy that lifestyle seems when it's all around you. I was talking recently to someone in my extended family who's finding it hard to motivate themselves. All their friends are finding backdoors into disability or welfare or insurance payouts, and some have become quite comfortable doing it for years. But it doesn't make it right. My family member needs to separate themselves from those people. If you can work, you should.)

This broad-brush stereotyping of the "all poor are virtuous" or the "all poor are despicable" has to stop though. There's both types of poor people in Gore Park.

But you can't separate out both types in any meaningful way. You can't sift through people and make "deserving" and "not deserving" groups. The only solution is to make sure that all of our poor have homes all around the city, so that there isn't a critical mass of self-perpetuating patterns or need concentrated in one area or building.

So that those who deserve a better environment and better surroundings can have it, and those who need a better environment to lift them out of negative patterns can be gifted with it - and even if they don't take advantage of it, they're not the predominant influence in that setting.

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