May 21st, 2024

Lethbridge soup kitchen needs support


By Letter to the Editor on November 13, 2021.

Editor:
Recently the Lethbridge soup kitchen has been struggling to raise funds to cover the needs of its operations.
The City provides only nominal funding to the Soup Kitchen: giving the use of the building they are housed in rent-free for a total support of less than $40k annually.
It is my hope that the City will consider reallocating funds from extraneous enforcement agencies like the Watch, to help support programs like the soup kitchen, which are tackling the same social issues and problems from opposite ends.
Since we already have a generously funded Lethbridge Police Service, it only makes sense to me that we ought to provide some funding assistance to the very necessary work of the soup kitchen, and it grieves me greatly that such assistance is not already available.
It seems strange to me that the City would put funding into a new program, rather than supporting a program that has already proven effective at reaching the desired people and providing them much-needed assistance.
Kelti Baird
Lethbridge

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buckwheat

Thought the whole idea of all of these inventive social programs was to reduce poverty, starvation, homelessness, drug addiction, domestic violence, violence in general, silly me. Councillor candidates answer, create another one.

Dennis Bremner

The Soup Kitchen has allowed itself to be redefined. It used to be a place for the Homeless and even Homeless families to get a meal. Since that time, it has devolved into a Drug Addict food supply depot where the homeless will not even consider visiting for fear of being beaten up!
The Soup Kitchen’s interest in pairing with Mustard Seed has also caused it problems as some see the Mustard Seed as being no better then the money making SCS of the past!
However, I do tend to agree that there has to be some funding arranged but what I disagree with is its intended use! There has to be a place for the Homeless who are being displaced by Drug Addicts, to get a meal in some level of security. That should be the issue at the forefront of the problem.
We have to solve the problem of how we separate the Homeless from an Addict whose sole intent is to take any money the Homeless person earned collecting bottles during the day! If we cannot solve these issues then I see more dependency on Governments because donations will dry up! Why? Very few people want their donation money going to any organization that supports the thieving and destructive population of Lethbridge and the Soup Kitchen is now seeing that!
Any proposals for Addict support has to consider the Homeless. Spearman attempted to blur the lines between Addicts and the Homeless to allow the Non Profits to hide the Addict in the System. Give a Homeless person $2000-$3000 that the addict uses to buy drugs per month and I would bet you that same Homeless person would not be homeless any longer.
Spearman went further (as if an authority on the issue) to suggest Homelessness leads to being a Drug Addict in a further attempt to blur the lines between the two!
So at some point Council/Mayor have to deal with this issue! Homeless people are afraid to use the services we provide now because their is a propensity to drool over the concept of servicing the $100,000 per rehab cycle in the Addiction program! Assuming the Non Profits are ” No Profit” at the expense of this cities society is dangerous and foolish!
Given an opportunity the Non Profits will build a system that caters to Drug Addicts and, the mere fact it just so happens to help “a little” with the Homeless is only coincidental and will be seen for the the Cash Cow Service it is!
No one that I am aware of, has ever built an SCS or a Detox Center or a Drug Counselling Center for the Homeless, but that is exactly what is on the top of the menu for these Non Profits, who profit! But, they want to convince you they are doing it for the “homeless” as redefined, to get into the big money market!
So what exactly are we doing for the Homeless? Pretty well nothing and the Non Profits are ensuring the services they do provide are not being used by the Homeless out of fear! This is what happens when you try to be everything to everybody, someone loses and loses big, in this case its the True Homeless, the very people Lethbridge wants to HELP!
So what exactly are we doing here? If we allow the Non Profits to go unchecked we will see a Campus of Facilities surviving from the $100,000 rehab system and nothing for the Homeless other than coincidental parallel services ! Is that what WE want? I don’t think so!
There are very few among us who would not want to offer a leg up to the truly homeless and deserving, but when we see it wasted on Drug Addicts who have no intent on Rehabing and all the while destroy our city…..donations tank as can be seen now at the Soup Kitchen!
Solution
Drug Campus on the border of Lethbridge City adjacent to the Blood Reserve. A partnership be established between the two and Addicts are housed and treated there. Shuttle buses run back and forth between Blood/ Drug Facility/ Lethbridge. Any addict displaying public intoxication is loaded on the bus for the Drug Facility whether in Lethbridge or Blood!
Lethbridge- Create a Homeless center that caters ONLY to the Homeless. Food, Clothing and Shelter and Help. Lets get back to our roots of helping the Poor. Donations will follow! If you think for a minute you can do both in Lethbridge then you are very very mistaken because the Poor will always come out the loser! If you believe you can con the city into believing that Drug Addicts are Homeless, well that ship sailed long ago, so move on! Once a Drug Addict rehabs and is sober, he then can participate in Lethbridges Homeless Facilities, but not until he is sober. Fall of the wagon, back to the Spa Hotel on Lethbridge/Blood Border you go!
If “Non Profits want to create a Spa Hotel for Drug Addicts so you can milk the $100,000 per “Client” Drug Addict Rehab Program, go for it, but do it where it will service both communities which are Blood and Lethbridge!
If you assume setting this Campus up in Lethbridge is a great idea then be prepared for opposition and if Council is gullible enough to allow that to occur, then be prepared for triple the number of street addicts in Lethbridge! Why? Well the only way to get a room in your Spa Campus is to get on your list, the only way to get on your list is to move from Taber, Medicine Hat, Claresholm, Pinscher Creek, Mill River etc etc.
So if you build it in Lethbridge, they will come, be 100% assured of that, which of course will make the Non Profits who profit, very happy…Lethbridge, not so much!
Objections
Really do not care if there are any! Non Profits will insist that the addicts will not like the idea we are not sacrificing our city to them, cry me a river! Addicts will say they want to be downtown so they can defecate and puke where they like, again, cry me a river! No one including the Federal Governments asinine program says you have to kill your own city. So if any council / Mayor try to tell you the Feds/Prov dictate what street this system is installed on, they are lying! If the Feds/Province designate you as a place for services, NO ONE says it has to be in the city center or anywhere near it. Lethbridge extends to its city limits in all directions. The City should procure the land needed and then apply for money to get the Spa/Hotel built! Put it where it offers the best solution for all. In our case its on the border with the Blood and prevents the need for duplicate services and helps our partner!

Last edited 2 years ago by Dennis Bremner
Montreal13

Older school is definitely not a two-minute expert. There has been too many of those.
Approximately 40K per year support from the city. What do they receive in grant money? What are their wages per staff member? What has the city promised,if anything?
Soup kitchen used to provide one meal a day. Now is it up to 3 meals a day?
Local churches used to donate. I believe a number of them volunteer. Why are they not donating now? Are they alarmed by the takeover by users/drug addicts? Maybe the churches can no longer afford to donate?
How much has the Blood tribe council donated over the 35-40 years of the Soup Kitchens existence? If you think they can’t afford it,perhaps you should look at the wages of council members?
What percentage of meals are served to Blood tribe members?
How does the Soup Kitchen separate drug users from nonusers? Would they need to if they hook up with a supposed dry shelter like the Mustard Seed?
How big is the Alpha house’s kitchen facilities?
Lots of fact finding required. To just say let’s de fund the Watch seems alittle lame? Wheres some facts and or research to support that. Not saying that shouldn’t be looked at,but would need some facts to support it.

bladeofgrass

It is not the City’s responsibility to kick in more funds than it already has (ie free rent) for a non-profit. The Board of Directors are the guardians of the non-profit’s assets, bearing ultimate responsibility for their finances. Good financial leadership from the board means managing material assets — money and property — responsibly. So why is it that the Soup waited for the 11th hour to proclaim this financial struggle? Did they put all of their eggs in the Mustard Seed’s basket which has been refused over and over again in Lethbridge?? Is it a scare tactic to put pressure on the City to 1. Give money or 2. To consent to the partnership of the Mustard Seed (and we know how Rich they are… check out the Mustard’s Calgary CRA 2020). Shall the City then pay for Every non-profit charity that runs into financial difficulty?? This is not the City’s responsibility, only the Non-profits. More importantly, what about the Other 1,000’s of Lethbridge families who are hungry? Or do they not matter… no, not when there is lots of dough to be made on the addict. Are we willing to pay Millions to house 40-70 ‘sober’ individuals via the Mustard? If you think that Mustard Seeds are as ‘sober’ as they proclaim, why would they include needle pick-up in their proposal? Have you read reviews on what happens to communities/businesses that surround the Mustard or people who have worked there, stayed there…not good. The Mustard Seed is a duplicate service to that of Alpha but only with a ‘Christian’ belief. And where is the actual data that the Mustard Seed works?
Lethbridge needs a Real sober soup kitchen not affiliated to any other non-profit nor a sole religious belief, located Downtown where families with children, seniors and sober homeless can visit without any hesitation of being robbed or tip toe through the illegal activities going on right outside the front doors! Would you take your child to the Soup (right beside Alpha) or next to a Mustard (which will look exactly like that of Alpha) for a meal? Would a senior feel visiting such an environment? How often do they disinfect everything? 

Last edited 2 years ago by bladeofgrass
bladeofgrass

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Last edited 2 years ago by bladeofgrass

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