This is not what needed to be done – Guardian Angels

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After posting pictures of what was going on on May Street behind the Guardian Angels Canada Clubhouse, someone went in and
After posting pictures of what was going on on May Street behind the Guardian Angels Canada Clubhouse, someone went in and "cleaned it all up"

Just Putting a Bandaid on a Wound is not enough

THUNDER BAY – Ian Hodgkinson says, “This is NOT what is needed to be done!” Hodgkinson is concerned that the city and many of the social agencies responsible for poverty and social assistance and housing are missing the point.

“Simply cleaning up garbage is missing the point, it is putting a bandaid on the wound so to speak, I think it is important to keep our city clean, yes of course, but the point I was trying to make, and I apologize if I did not explain myself correctly….my point was, why have we let things go so far that there are people who have to live in this situation?”

“I can only imagine the responses to this… it’s their choice, it’s their fault, they are junkies etc…”.

Is this the best Thunder Bay can do?
This was taken on February 25th 2016.

The Guardian Angels boss says, “The question I am asking myself, and you are, what can we do to try to make sure this stops, and we take care of the situation as a whole, as a community, so poverty, unemployment, the drug use, the sale of drugs, crime, domestic violence, abuse, loneliness, depression, anxiety, insecurity, and the frustration can be met head-on and overcome?”

The situation in the back lanes and alleys and parks in downtown Fort William have been left in a status quo for a long time.

There are growing numbers of people who are camping out downtown.
This image was taken on June 21 2015.
A message from a less than happy downtown Fort William visitor
A message from a less than happy downtown Fort William visitor – Perhaps understandable?

Seeking Solutions

Seeking solutions, Hodgkinson says, “We are like a beautiful teapot, that has cracks in it, and every time we fill the teapot, the water spills, and we blame the persons who poured the water for spilling water all over, and we all say look at the mess….but no one says…why don’t we fix the cracks so no more water spills?”

Mayor Keith Hobbs has stated several times that revitalizing the downtown Fort William neighbourhood is a priority. The Mayor is absolutely right in this statement.

There is enormous potential in downtown on both sides of our city. They are not likely to be fixed by major spending on buildings. Those who suggested that the new Thunder Bay District Courthouse would be the impetus for growth in downtown Fort William are yet to be proven right.

The issue likely in the downtown starts at one level with instilling a greater sense of civic pride in our community. That can be led by the city but will need support for business, and support from business. It will need our civic and political leaders getting on the ground and walking around to see the depth of the issue.

If there is a real desire to effect change, then there will be change. If the status quo of simply cleaning up messes after they happen, in an effort to pretend that is all that is needed, then our city will only see the problems continue to grow.

There is an apparent need for change.

The only question is what will it take to effect change?

Homeless in Thunder Bay - image taken October 26 2015 - Ontario promises to end homelessness in ten years.
Homeless in Thunder Bay – image taken October 26 2015 – Ontario promises to end homelessness in ten years.