We can all agree that everyone needs and deserves a safe community in order to have functional and healthy workplaces and homes. In Greater Victoria, we know there is tremendous compassion for people living in our communities' parks and on our streets. Tremendous work has been done to help and house individuals, but more needs to be done to address root causes. Specifically, the issue of involuntary care has been a controversial topic but is one that needs to be discussed.
The Chamber commends Our Place CEO Julian Daly for his thoughtful essay published on April 27 in the Times Colonist.
Daly, who also spoke about this issue on a Chamber Chat in February, acknowledged that the issue "will be provocative and controversial to some."
"After decades of work in this field, and years of advocating for those who are homeless and struggling, heartfelt and bitter experience has taught me that, in some situations, there is a need to bring people into this kind of care involuntarily," Daly writes, stressing that he does not want a return to the old ways of inhumane institutions. However, he states there are extreme circumstances when vulnerable people need to be removed from dangerous situations. "In these situations, we believe it is the right thing to compel care. We believe that in doing so their rights are recognized – the right to be safe, the right to be housed, and the right to good health."