Sunday, September 27, 2009


Welcome Home has been trying to find a home of its own for several years now.

Part of the problem was that United Furniture magnate John Volken, a multimillionaire turned philanthropist, was not very clear at first about how his $50 Million program would actually work.

I should know.

I worked for him for a few months when he was trying to build the centre here in Vancouver on an excellent site he owned at Powell near Victoria Drive.

But he and his staff have come a long way since the City of Vancouver dithered and put up one pointless obstacle after another.

Here was a guy donating a ton of his own money to getting addicts clean and sober and the bureaucrats just kvetched and whined until Volken said, "Enough."

He hightailed it a few years ago to Surrey where the Best Mayor in Canada, Dianne Watts, welcomed Welcome Home and has since declared that it is a "fabulous program" which does "a lot of good work."

She is right.

And the 900 people in Newton who have signed the latest Not In My Back Yard petition to keep this program out are entirely wrong.

We need more and more programs that will turn out clean and sober citizens.

These programs can not be on the moon or on an ice flow, if there are any of those left.

These programs must be, as they often are, right next door to you and you don't even know it.

One important caveat:

If such programs are built and run by the government, you can bet your mortgage that they will be badly designed and run even worse. Protest those with all your righteous strength.

If such programs are designed and run by non-profits and /or by recovering addicts themselves, there is a mighty good chance that these folks know what they are doing and you will be safe in your bed.

Support those programs with all your righteous strength.


Anonymous said...

Why do they "have" to be in our neighborhoods? I don't understand. What is it these people need that can't be accessed through a transportation network designed to link these people with the neighborhood services they supposedly need?

There are lot's of beautiful, healthy and peaceful places these people ban be housed in in our vastly underused provinces green spaces. Places that nurture an understanding of where these people fit in with the rest of the earth and it's dwellers. Places where clean water, fresh air and a lack of neighborhood temptations would support their recovery. Their recovery totally in hand before experimenting with their living amongst the rest of us who already have control over our impulses and who work hard to support the kind of community where these people would be welcome to fit in and become contributing members of our society.

Anonymous said...

David, the bureaucrats at Vancouver City Hall are so incompetent, they couldn't get a job in the real world.

Really, Vancouver's bureaucrats reek of professional misconduct on a daily basis.

Evil Eye

Anonymous said...

I don't see how banishing drug addicts, who already have it bad, to no man's land places like Prince George and the like is going to help their recoveries. Personally, I feel ill the moment I drive east of Sperling on Hastings. Engaging with the many good, healthy people in the city who are plugged into the world, not being alone, having the vibrancy of a city around can be far more healing than solitude. I say let the addicts heal in the city, but with a promise to have 24 hour a day security guards present to keep the place free of drug dealers who come sniffing around and shoo away lookieloos who want to hinder their recovery.