It is not OK

Recently I went down to 17th Avenue in Calgary. A homeless man chattering mildly to himself approached the blue bin close by.

Recently I went down to 17th Avenue in Calgary. A homeless man chattering mildly to himself approached the blue bin close by. He brought to mind the severely developmentally disabled men I’ve encountered over the last 43 years where my sister lives at the Michener Centre in Red Deer. The men chattering to themselves, wandering the safe, clean halls of their home at Michener. This man put on a pair of disposable gloves to fish through the bin.

I leaned back into my car in search of food, but by the time I got back out, he was down the street, talking and gesturing to himself. It made me want to cry. I’m not used to seeing homeless people where I live. Nor am I used to seeing uncared for mental illness, which is the overriding factor in being homeless. When the Conservative government tried to force the closure of the Michener Centre years back, I received numerous calls from mental health care workers employed at Alberta Hospital before the Conservatives shut that down. The workers said it tore their hearts out to see their former male clients homeless on the streets of our Alberta cities.

I’m not ok with our mentally ill rifling through blue bins when I know for a fact that we have space and empty buildings at Michener that could be repurposed. Yes, I understand we are in the worst recession that Alberta has yet to face. What I fail to understand is how we can be okay with the status quo, when the government solution could provide yet more employment for AUPE workers, and in turn allow our mentally ill currently wandering our cities to wander the safe, clean halls of their home at the Michener Centre.

Don’t be ok, make some noise, call an MLA, write to Premier Rachel Notley, ask for better caring in our Alberta nation.

Lee Kvern, Calgary

Just Posted

Scares and chills await at haunted house in Red Deer

Zed Haunted House helps raise money for Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer District

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

Queens raised $12,035 for the Central Alberta Cancer Centre.

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Turkey to reveal details of probe into Khashoggi’s killing

ISTANBUL — In a sign of growing pressure on Saudi Arabia, Turkey… Continue reading

Utah truck driver is jailed without bond after crash kills 6

HEBER, Utah — A man suspected of driving under the influence remained… Continue reading

A ragged, growing army of migrants resumes march toward US

TAPACHULA, Mexico — A ragged army of Honduran migrants streamed through southern… Continue reading

Postal workers to begin strikes in 4 Canadian cities Monday if deal not reached

OTTAWA — The union representing 50,000 Canada Post employees says it will… Continue reading

Migrant caravan swells to 5,000, resumes advance toward US

CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico — Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the… Continue reading

“I don’t feel real”: Mental stress mounting after Michael

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Amy Cross has a hard time explaining the… Continue reading

Toronto residents set to vote Monday on the next four years of civic leaders

Toronto’s municipal election campaign, marked by unprecedented provincial interference, ends Monday when… Continue reading

Former PQ minister Lise Payette remembered as role model for female politicians

MONTREAL — Members from across Quebec’s political spectrum gathered at a downtown… Continue reading

Most Read