LETTERS: Homelessness requires forum

Editor: Re: Biz groups announce public debates for mayoral candidates only , Sept. 19.

Editor:

Re: Biz groups announce public debates for mayoral candidates only, Sept. 19.

The Peninsula Homeless to Housing (PH2H) task force will host an all-candidates meeting for White Rock’s mayoral and councillor candidates on Oct. 9, 7-9 p.m., at Holy Trinity Anglican Church.

PH2H was first out of the gate the first week of September to announce the all-candidates meeting (Housing group scrambles to hear civic candidates, Sept. 12).

The Sept. 19 article reported on the South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce and the White Rock Business Improvement Association’s decision to host a mayoral candidate forum for their members on the same evening as ours. We reached out to them asking them to move their date.

We consider the issue of affordable housing so crucial that it requires a forum from our candidates. We wish the business groups well in their forum.

The business community have been very supportive of the advocacy efforts to effect adequate and safe housing for the homeless and those at risk of homelessness. They have volunteered, donated and participated in serving our most vulnerable neighbours.

The PH2H event will be an opportunity for everyone, including the business community, to learn more about what powers the city has to achieve the goal of a “home for everyone,” which includes those on the lowest income and the homeless of our community.

Each of the mayoral and councillor candidates will have a brief opportunity to speak. They will introduce themselves, identify their passion for running for civic office and name an initiative they would commit to, if elected, that would contribute to the goal of housing for the homeless. The mayoral candidates will have a slightly longer time to speak.

Housing is the biggest social issue facing us today. For the homeless and for those on the edge of homelessness, it is not a social issue but it is meeting of their most basic human need – safe, appropriate and affordable housing.

We invite you to meet our mayoral and council candidates and to be part of the solution to assure appropriate housing for our most vulnerable neighbours.

Revs. Joan McMurtry & Rick Bayer, Peninsula Homeless to Housing

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