LETTER: Courtesy circle an attempt to balance needs and concerns

From reader Angela Nichols

The issues of homelessness and drug abuse in our present situation gifts us an opportunity. Equality, inclusiveness, and sustainability are spoken of often. These are principles frequently overlooked when addressing these two issues.

A “Community Courtesy Circle” may challenge beliefs. Please allow initial reactions to settle, and consider how this suggestion may work.

It is an endeavour to be a long-lasting solution, an arrangement to address current issues. It consists of many offerings, and can be implemented in whole or in part. They compliment each other to address large issues.

The details are open for discussion and determination. Most courtesies could be done quite simply, if bureaucracy is kept to a minimum.

Much more can be said about homelessness and drug use, complex and complicated issues. A better understanding of what people whom are experiencing these go through, would be beneficial in coming up with a suitable manner to address them.

If your life has not been directly touched by fentanyl, consider yourself blessed, but not immune.

Without exploring this topic, it’s important people recognize how hard an opioid addiction (in particular) is to face, and how long a body itself requires for the healing process to take. It is a difficult challenge for them, their families and friends, and everyone working with them. All of these people are affected and need our support.

Furthermore, if anyone is to be freed from any addiction for a length of time, it needs to be of their choosing. We can help by creating an environment suitable for so, and encourage people by making them know their welcome, accepted, and valued in our community – not just with our words, but in our attitude and actions.

Much has been being done by different levels of government, organizations, and individuals in an effort to address both homelessness and drug use. This is excellent, but everday people need to know how they can help as well.

The approach of the Community Courtesy Circle differs from the conventional direction pursued by increasing regulations to control or restrict others, their actions or to give further consequence for so, which often results in a loss of rights, a diminishment of freedoms, and has not been an effective remedy. While the real issues continue – or worsen.

Some may find this idea to be naive. I ask you to gently quell the skepticism and cynicism so prevelent in today’s society, and consider its possibilities and the spirit with which it was written.

If others have suggestions, please share them with Grand Forks City Council and our community.

We have a chance to do something different, that reflects the heart of who we are, and improve our lifesytle for ourselves and future generations.

You may read about the suggested Community Courtey Circle posted on the Grand Forks TV’s website, www.gftv.ca. A limited number of printed copies are available downtown at the local health food store, New West Trading Post.

Angela Nichols

Grand Forks

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