Letters to the Editor (Our response)

I find the comments made by Alderman Druh Farrell very ironic.  One of her comments is that she wishes that help would come not only from the federal and provincial governments but also from the citizens of Calgary. It is a mystery to the city representatives, how to resolve the problems of homelessness.  They do not seem to have any concrete solutions except that they need more money to throw at this problem.  Yet when hundreds of citizens are taking initiatives to feed the homeless, take them off the streets and clothe them, they are harassed and treated like criminals.  Case in point, the situation that the Street Church is finding itself in.  Approximately sixty summonses and tickets have been issued to us, and though not a single one has been issued for breaking acceptable noise levels, the city claims that this is the problem. Instead of calling themselves aldermen with the interest of the homeless population at heart, they ought to call themselves hypocrites!

 

Numerous times we have met with city officials and given them solid and concrete solutions to the problem, yet every time we have been slapped with more fines and continuing court cases against us.  After working many years working directly and closely with the homeless, we we have workable plans, which do not require billions of dollars.  With that amount, we can build a whole new town!

 

It seems that with the City of Calgary, if any idea is not theirs, and it is not done THEIR WAY, IT IS THE HIGHWAY! A prime example is how they treat Street Church, even though it has taken many people off the street, not to mention thousands regularly being fed and clothed, at no cost to the city. 

 

The problem appears to be not so much a problem of homelessness, which can be solved, but it is a problem of city representatives who are more eager to get personal media exposure rather than really taking action to solve real problems.

 

Alderman Joe Ceci, for example, has recently wrongfully attacked Street Church for noise and littering. What a pack of lies! Speakers have not been used for months during services and at every instance all litter has been cleaned up! Ald. Joe Ceci seems inordinately concerned with pieces of paper lying around the park than with human lives.

 

Alderman Druh Farrell blames Calgary’s inability to deal with the homeless situation on others. She claims that Calgary’s homeless is a "national" shame. Really? I think the shame falls on city officials, such as herself and Joe Ceci, first and foremost!

 

With city officials, such as these, not only will homelessness continue, but it will escalate. City council seems only to be able to talk….and talk is cheap.

 

There is an old saying "The fish stinks from the head"…..and who is the head of the city?

 

Artur Pawlowski

Street Church Ministries

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