April 12th, 2024

Some real help needed for the downtown homeless


By Lethbridge Herald on November 16, 2023.

Editor:

I am addressing what i consider out of control chaos in downtown Lethbridge. At this moment, I should be a retired woman enjoying life. I was invited back to my previous workplace to work with the staff as I still have experience to share.

On February 2, 2022, when I was the first to enter my workplace at 7:50 a.m., paramedics had just covered up a woman’s body who had frozen to death. This shook me to the core. There was never a name mentioned or any kind of obituary that followed. I searched for days and days. This was a human being.

Move forward. This is November, 2023. For many months now we as staff are under lock and key. We are closed to the public. People hammer on our front doors. Almost daily and too often several times a day, people gather out front to openly do drugs. Then they leave their drug paraphernalia at our doorstep. We then call the good people at Clean Sweep to come when they can and clear away the debris. Be careful, Clean Sweep, don’t breathe it in.

The people using drugs soon crouch over and pass out. Myself and staff have been so concerned that there have been so many times while waiting for DOT or an ambulance or the LPS, that we have gone out and checked to see if the person is still breathing. It hits us in the pit of our stomach.

Today, I spent two hours talking to police, corresponding with management and keeping a watchful eye on the four people lying on the sidewalk at our building to ensure they were still breathing or alive somehow as we waited for help to arrive from our wonderful LPS.

I also witnessed a woman yelling at a car as the car drove by the office. She was throwing her arms up in the air and appeared to be under the influence of who knows what. Plus the countless number of people going by my office window with suitcases, dragging their blankets. oOe woman bandaged up in a bloody bandage on her arm and wrist, picked up a cigarette butt, asking someone for a light.

This all from my office windows. 

All in two hours on a nice sunny November day in the beautiful city of Lethbridge. Dare I mention what else I witnessed over the next 5.5 hours of work? It was like a movie scene. People yelling, others parking and stepping over people on the sidewalks to get to their appointments, drug deals right before my eyes.

And this is what has become a normal work day! Appalling! I spoke to a police officer about three weeks ago and I said “how do you do it?” This officer looked at me and said “I am not connected to my soul anymore.” How scary is that? A young police officer likely with a family. Are you serious, Lethbridge?

What are we doing here? I attended the service fair with Lethbridge ICA on Oct. 17. It was great seeing and talking with all the agencies. It is nowhere near what is needed.

My little suggestions in case you need it:

Get the army in. Dress up as drug dealers and get out on the streets. Bust the drug dealers. Get heavy handed. Do it daily until we can take back our streets. Save lives. Get housing. Where are these people going to geo when it gets cold? Freeze on the street? Likely.

I have spent a good portion of my life working in Lethbridge. What is happening is inhumane. These are real people. We live in the richest province in Canada. What a disgrace we are and Lethbridge in particular.

What we are doing is not working. No more studies are required. Come talk to me and you can look out my window for two hours and your study should be more than complete. In that two hour time frame, I am sure people will have died.

Wake up Lethbridge. Time has run out. How will you feel the day you step over a dead body when you go to work and later go home and your spouse and kids ask how was our day?

If you don’t feel anything then maybe hour soul has left, too and if that is the case and you find yourself walking around vacant, quit your job and move over.

I won’t quit my job. My problem is I still have my soul and I see the chaos, the unnecessary losses. Now I am calling for help for the people. If I can help one more person tomorrow, then I am making a difference. It’s not enough.

Linda Rawbon

Lethbridge

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Dennis Bremner

“Wake up Lethbridge. Time has run out.”
I regret you are having this problem. I tried to stop it, it did not work. Here is the problem.
You have a legitimate and urgent complaint. If you go next door to the next business and ask for support you may or may not get it. If you approach the Chamber of Commerce, if a member, you will get sympathy. If you go to the city, city staff will “sigh with you” not uttering the words “all is lost” but seemingly muttering them. If you complain to a councillor, he/she will say they are doing everything they can.
If you approach the profiting non-profits who cater to this approach, they will say you must treat them with respect (even if they choose to rob you blind). They have rights and those rights, in this city, always supercedes your right to safety and security.
If you take it to the Safety and Security Sub Committee, you will get a row of bobble-heads agreeing with everything you say, and then they will say your 5 minutes is up and to move along.
I tried to warn “Complacent Lethbridge” and as you say, the time ran out and they did not wake up, nor will they.
If you do not think that is true, try to get businesses to speak up. If they are not afraid of the bylaws officer then they are afraid of upsetting their church. Those are the facts.
I love Mathematics and Statistics. The enjoyable part of this math is it was made for simple people like myself, not analytics required at scholarly level here it is;
12 square blocks downtown + 409 addicts= farked
or
farked=12 square blocks downtown/409 addicts
and finally
farked = double farked (if more than 409 addicts next year)
How to make it look like, we will never reach double fark?
Create a shelter strategy that puts the same people throughout the city, accept federal money to create housing and destroy (at will) R1 zoning in Lethbridge all under the guise of housing homeless because they will never tell you they just housed 4 of the people that were outside your office ,next door to your house. They will concentrate “the homeless” in close proximity to services, which your church insists must be downtown where the addicts are. So expect growing numbers of 4 plexes South and North and a token number West where “the real downtown Lethbridge will soon reside with the Ebony halls of Uof L”
Trust me in one thing only “Wake up Lethbridge does not work, unless perhaps you can get the Pope to utter it!
The really sad thing about this entire fiasco is the Blackfoot running this chitshow have been setup nicely by the whiteman. As their people die, whitey will say, hey you are part of this and should have been able to stop this. Nothing will ever be mentioned whom is getting the money and who’s idea this was.
It will be the Indigenous people’s fault, yet they were never given a fair chance to get thier people out of this cesspool zoo! There was just toooo much help from whitey to keep things downtown. Buying multimillion dollar properties to make sure they stayed in the downtown is a plan that only can be orchestrated by churches or nonprofits who profit.
So mathematically, the entire city of Lethbridge should stand by for “double fark”. It will be then and only then you will hear the laughable….I didn’t know this was happening, why was I not informed, who approved all of this etc etc. By then double fark is in and complaining is over!
No one wanted to believe me, even though I have seen this tens of times as a RCN dude of 28 years. I was named Doomsday Dennis by a local politicians mother. When and if I spoke I was met by the Eyerollers Association of Lethbridge in a massive Eyeroll led by the NDP. SCAN arrival was inevitable and on time, now the real dung starts hitting the fan over the next two years.

Last edited 4 months ago by Dennis Bremner
Chmie

We as well have spoken to councillors and the LPS to no avail. There needs to be a serious task force established to deal with this very serious problem for the safety of everyone. We as a citizens cannot go on like this everyone who deals with this situation is under so much stress and fear. We can’t wait till the next election it needs to happen now.

Montreal13

There has been task forces set up. The city tries to maintain control of the agendas and outcomes. When they can’t they just cherrypick what suits their agenda. The agendas the councilors like to pretend they don’t have.

NotDottie

Linda you are right. The situation is heartbreaking. The addicts are dead without dying. Maybe human rights needs to include living in a restrained environment to get clean and learn to stay clean so that addicts can come back to better lives.Of course that would cost, but maybe not as much as the perpetual impact on the police, the first responders, the businesses, and the families who care and cannot solve the problem.