LETTER: Address panhandling through creative means

I attended my first Downtown Business Association meeting last month. It was well attended as any meeting is when there is controversy.

I attended my first Downtown Business Association meeting last month. This meeting was well attended as any meeting is when there is controversy. The topic of discussion was the proposed panhandling law.

The very well-chaired meeting allowed all to have a say and all were respectful and honest with their opinions. I was hesitant to attend for I was concerned that my ideas may not be shared by others. I was pleasantly surprised that in a room of close to 40 people, only three spoke in favour of this bylaw.

The general feeling was compassion and innovation. Most recognized the need to be patient and understanding towards others and that treating others with respect precipitated the same response. It was recognized that there are more creative means to solve some uncomfortable situations. I left the meeting feeling proud of our community and know that we can accomplish good for many in need.

On that note I also want to remind people that the colder weather creates harsher conditions for those not fortunate enough to have a warm bed every night. Nelson CARES, Stepping Stones and Wait’s News always offer the $5 coffee card. This gives those in need food and warmth, two things that are really priceless in below zero weather. Two years ago we had over 400 donated to Stepping Stones. I was humbled by the response and many had a warmer body for a short time.

Mari Plamondon, Owner, Wait’s News