Support takes patience, time

He’s a person, not a project, letter writer says.

Dear Chilliwack,

I get it. Your heart wants to do something for the man who can be found sitting outside across from the storage unit on Vedder or by the train tracks near Canadian Tire. So you bring him a bag of something from your closet or something you purchased at the store. You drive to find him, park at a safe distance, and approach. But you don’t understand why he won’t take your gift, why he waves you off, why he says “No thank you,” or when you persist in forcing it on him, he turns and flips out at you.

It is not because “He’s a very proud man.”

No. He’s a broken man. He’s a broken man who doesn’t want bags of things because bags attract beatings from others on the street and your gifts will get taken from him anyway. He’s a broken man who doesn’t wear gloves so he can keep small items like granola bars and cash in his hands and up his sleeves without anyone else on the street noticing. Acts of charity for items he hasn’t asked for aren’t what he needs because they put him in danger.

You know what he needs—besides a home? He needs no-strings-attached relationships. He needs people to sit on the sidewalk with him and respect his desire for silence or occasionally tell him a story. He needs us to show him we see him as a person, not a project. Projects have a planned start date and an end date. “Walk up. Drop off gift for homeless man… Done. Walk away. Act of charity: complete.” Sorry, that’s not seeing this man as a person.

Getting to know this man will take our time. If we’re going to force anything upon him, it should be our loving, caring, lavishly spent time.

Dave Hawkins

Just Posted

UPDATE: Police response on Cheam First Nation a ‘non-event’, RCMP say

More than two dozen RCMP and ERT vehicles were at the First Nation looking for a known fugitive

RCMP urge caution for back to school drivers

Police are asking drivers to slow down and watch for pedestrians

Harrison Lagoon closed due to E. coli

Water samples tested too high for the bacteria

Chilliwack backs B.C. plastics action plan overall

Council is firing off a letter commenting on the B.C. plan to pare down plastics pollution

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies to decrease electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Man at centre of dropped HIV-disclosure case sues province and 10 cops

Brian Carlisle of Abbotsford says Mission RCMP defamed him and were ‘negligent’ in their investigation

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

Most Read