Street Tales: A step in the right direction

Most often when I write about the street, the article is almost like a downer. Partly it has to do with wanting to understand the reasoning that lands folks there, and in so doing, I uncover a lot of grief and misery which in itself can read like a put down on our society.

So it was with great interest that on Nov. 18, I read the front page article on Saturday’s Advocate entitled, ‘A voice for children’. The picture showed a painter putting finishing touches on a facility dedicated to helping children that have been abused or are currently being abused.

I usually identify a problem and try as I might, cannot always come up with the complete answer as to dealing with particular issues, so I was quite pleased with the effort being put out by the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Coalition. It is my prayer and desire to see an effort like this succeed. If in any way we can help a child before they form their life patterns as a result of abuse, then we have won a partial victory.

The way I read the article, it is an extreme effort to utilize all of the agencies necessary to intervene and prevent any further damage to a child who has been wronged through abuse. These agencies include the R.C.M.P., family services, mental health, addiction programs, etc., all in one place. Kudos to the people who will be manning this effort, and pray hard that bureaucracy does not impede any potential good that could come out of an effort like this.

One of the most disturbing sights that we often see at the kitchen is young kids no more than thirteen years old grouping with adult addicts on the street. At that age they are more than vulnerable to the wiles of the more experienced dealers. There have been younger kids than that, but we will talk them out of staying or even hanging out with the older ones.

Whatever it is that brought them here is also one of the issues that has to be dealt with. We know from watching news reports that the abuse of children is rampant in this country and one of the most difficult to catch or deal with. Even the kids themselves when questioned will often deny the abuse, simply because they do not want to lose what little they do have. They are scared that they would be taken from their homes and sent to foster homes, etc.

It seems as if every new generation has more problems than the previous one, but then it’s understandable; no parent can teach what they have not learned. In fact they will teach or do what they have learned, whether it is good or not. Often issues like alcoholism or even drug addictions are taught because that is what the parent learned.

We can see that played out in society as a whole in that values that were held dear twenty or forty years ago are now often treated with contempt, all in an effort to indulge in practices that once were taboo. Now it is to the point that what children are being taught is so confusing that it’s no wonder they end up on the street; confusion reigns there.

So, you see, that article tends to give me some hope that at least society is realizing that there is a terrific need for help for our younger population. Cookie cutter solutions just do not work, so I really hope that the help offered is customised to each specific child.

Whatever help they get, it is still help, and it is ‘a step in the right direction’.

Chris Salomons is the kitchen co-ordinator of Potter’s Hands in Red Deer.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a press conference during the COVID pandemic in Ottawa, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau Liberals face confidence vote over proposed anticorruption committee

Bloc Quebecois plans to support the Conservative motion

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, reported 323 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)
‘We’re in a danger zone,’ says Hinshaw

The province’s top doctor says “we’re in a danger zone” when it… Continue reading

Mayor Tara Veer pleads with the premier Tuesday to review the decision to move to a consolidated EMS dispatch system, which will be moved to three centres across the province. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
‘Issue of life and death’: mayors plead with government to halt consolidated EMS dispatch

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer calls on premier to overturn consolidated EMS dispatch decision

A $2.3-billion expansion of Alberta’s natural gas transportation system has been approved. “This should provide significant benefits — and we need every little bit of economic boost we can get,” says Reg Warkentin, policy adviser for the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce. (Flickr photo)
Red Deer-area to benefit from $2.3 billion gas pipeline expansion project

Project will add 344 km of new pipeline between RMH and Grande Prairie

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw warms up before Game 1 of the baseball World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Kershaw, LA stars shine, Dodgers top Rays 8-3 in WS opener

Kershaw, LA stars shine, Dodgers top Rays 8-3 in WS opener

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford leaps over a challenge by PSG's Presnel Kimpembe during the Champions League group H soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United at the Parc des Princes in Paris, France, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Man United wins again at PSG; Messi scores in Barca rout

Man United wins again at PSG; Messi scores in Barca rout

Hamilton Forge coach Bobby Smyrniotis, right, hugs captain Kyle Bekker following their victory in the Canadian Premier League soccer final against the Calgary Cavalry in Calgary, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. Under Smyrniotis, Forge FC has been the class of the Canadian Premier League. The two-time champions from Hamilton look to mark their internationally this week as they open CONCACAF League play in El Salvador. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Forge FC coach Bobby Smyrniotis’ influence on Canadian soccer continues to grow

Forge FC coach Bobby Smyrniotis’ influence on Canadian soccer continues to grow

Players' sticks are shown during a World Hockey Championships game in Moscow, Russia on Thursday, May 12, 2016. A senior hockey team in a small city in southern Manitoba has changed its name following a push against the use of Indigenous names and caricatures as mascots. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ivan Sekretarev
Manitoba senior hockey team changes Indigenous name to Bombers

Manitoba senior hockey team changes Indigenous name to Bombers

Jason Kokrak tees off during the final round of the CJ Cup golf tournament at Shadow Creek Golf Course Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in North Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
Long drive champ Berkshire looking to compete in tournaments

Long drive champ Berkshire looking to compete in tournaments

The Los Angeles Dodgers line up during during the national anthem and a fly over before Game 1 of the baseball World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Pandemic World Series draws smallest crowd in over century

Pandemic World Series draws smallest crowd in over century

Keegan Messing performs in the Gala at the 2020 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Mississauga, Ont., on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Messing dedicating his Skate America performance to grounded Canadian teammates

Messing dedicating his Skate America performance to grounded Canadian teammates

Most Read