Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Goodbye, Caring Place
Maple Ridge residents can breathe a sigh of NIMBY-tinged relief now that, after years of mis-serving the community, the Salvation Army "Caring Place" is being given the boot. For far too long, the Salvation Army has been importing a substantial homeless/ jobless/ frequently addicted-and-mentally-ill contingent into a community that really doesn't have much of a problem with these things, CREATING a problem for people who actually live there. That would be fine, I suppose, if they actually followed up on their "care" - if they saw people through a process of cleaning up, getting jobs, getting their lives together, becoming productive citizens or such. Instead it seems most of the people they bring to town end up sleeping in tent cities clustered around the Caring Place, taking what's offered to them and apparently doing very little with it, all the while making the locals - including a goodly number of senior citizens - rather nervous as they rifle through their recycling or sleep in their doorways or... Maybe the Caring Place has done some good things for the people it serves - but it hasn't done much visible good for Maple Ridge, and in fact seems like a half-assed and misguided institution, less about actually HELPING than making themselves feel good about their lame gestures towards the same... which is a very different thing. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there are lots of people who they've done right by. I see no evidence of it, and as a sometimes Maple Ridge resident, I say... good riddance.