The sad state and plight of the street element was on full display yet again this morning as I went out for a stroll on a coffee break; our office is on mid-block Yates and what I encountered at the corner of View and Blanshard of all places really illustrated and drove home for me just how_bad things are getting.
Everyone knows about the s*** show on Pandora, and that Centennial Square can be pretty dodgy at night or weekends but at View/Vancouver today I saw a middle-aged woman lying prone in a sleeping bag right on the edge of the curb; if she'd rolled even 3-4" to her right she would've landed smack onto Blanshard and in the line of traffic. In her right hand she had a lit butt, her left was holding out a baseball cap for 'spare change' and there was a needle perched on her chest.
Directly across the crosswalk on the other side of View were two more guys, one in a sleeping bag the other under a makeshift blanket, both reeked of booze and one had puked all over the sidewalk in front of a small business. Wandering in a zombie-like state near them was yet another guy who I've seen in the area many times recently; he's about 6'5" and his clothes are little more than rags and practically falling off his body.
He 'quick times' drags off whatever cigarette butt he can scavenge off the street, repeatedly sucking on them literally every 2-3 seconds, all the while wandering aimlessly into traffic and against red light and Do Not Walk signs. When he's not doing that he seems to content himself with scaring the hell mostly out of women pedestrians by approaching them for money, cigarettes, or both. I'm 6' and 280 pounds and my spidey sense is always on whenever I see this person. I can't imagine what women or especially older people are thinking when he gets in their face....
It seems downtown homelessness is deteriorating literally before our eyes; Pandora, Johnson, Yates and now further south to Fort Street are all crawling with beggars, homeless, sick and in some cases violent people.
Rather than turning homelessness into a cottage industry - which appears to the 'strategy' of the local Left - I suggest the city make it an urgent priority to forget about suing Big Oil companies or writing letters to Vladimir Putin on behalf of Russian LGBT people, and instead make it Priority One to engage with senior government(s) in order to secure some sort of funding assistance for treatment including housing - and by the latter I don't mean in the conventional sense, I mean institutional housing with medical and security staff and where if necessary these poor souls are physically restrained and weaned completely off the drugs that are destroying their lives. This 'enablement' strategy nonsense has got to stop because it is failing - and its failing big time.