LETTER: I fear the North Shore community is becoming self-centred

Dear Editor:

I am a North Shore resident, and as well, manage a health clinic that works with the most marginalized and vulnerable people that call the North Shore their home.

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I was appalled and frankly, devastated, to read the North Shore News (Wednesday, Nov. 21 edition) to find out that the new District of North Vancouver council has rejected the Delbrook affordable housing project. I did not find any sound or reasonable explanation for this in the news article amongst the reasons that the district council is currently giving for their decision.

The North Shore, in this present state, is offering nothing in the way of new affordable housing to the most needy of its constituents. This need is only increasing as housing becomes more expensive.

At our health clinic alone, we serve more than 1,000 people who suffer from chronic medical and mental health issues that are exacerbated by the fact that their housing is unsatisfactory or precarious. These people live in RVs down at the auto mall, at Lookout Shelter, in the forest, in unregulated SROs in regular rentals and on other people’s couches.

My fear is that the North Shore is becoming a community that is self-centred, selfish and full of NIMBYism (not in my backyard). As the rest of the Lower Mainland endeavours to find ways to care and support all of their constituents, the appearance from the outside is that the North Shore cares and supports those who can take care of themselves. I am so deeply disappointed.

My plea would be for both city and district council to be fully aware of the overall needs of this community – that we would be a community of people that takes care of all, that makes decisions and sacrifices that mean that those with the least power, ability or beauty are noticed, seen and supported by those with the most.

Julie Zimmerman
North Vancouver

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