Baptists aren’t the ones to blame

Re: Lack of shelter leaves homeless out in the cold (News, Dec. 5)

When I read the story about the Baptist church not wanting to host an extreme weather shelter for Sooke, I took note that the church members did offer to host a high barrier shelter.

The shelter organizers said there wouldn’t be the same funding for a high barrier shelter and declined the offer. Let’s go after changing the funding formulas and not the church members.

We aren’t upset at the Sooke Community Association, the Royal Canadian Legion or any of the other local churches for not opening such a shelter because they don’t have a suitable space available.

The Baptists worked hard to build the facility they have. They said they are willing to share what their efforts have built and put to put in the extra effort that hosting an extreme weather shelter would entail. They just asked for the same protection as a commercial outlet that asks people to leave their backpacks at the front counter.

Under the circumstances, I think the Baptists are perfectly reasonable.

I am stopped at a police checkpoint to see if I’m driving drunk. I’m searched at airports to see if I am a danger to other travellers. I am not supposed to wear sunglasses, a hoodie or a baseball cap that hides my face from the surveillance camera at the credit union. With all these precautions against my possible maliciousness or careless disregard for others, why should the church members not have the right to security on their property?

People, don’t be angry with and critical of the Baptists. Advocate to change the funding formula.

Heather Phillips

Sooke

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