LETTER: A fine balance in Nelson’s downtown

From reader Mari Plamondon

Profit over people. It’s a fine balance. What are businesses to do when faced with this challenge? I guess it’s all about individual priorities. For us, Jim and I, owning Wait’s News has been an eye-opening experience. One I am truly grateful for and humbled by.

I have learned so much in the last nine years from so many different people. Last week it was brought to my attention that there was a person sleeping on the sidewalk at the side of our business. He was sitting up but with his head down on his knees. My first response was, “Is he okay? Does he need something?”

So I went out to check, took him a glass of water. The question then arose, don’t you think that this affects your business? Did you see the way people were looking at him? I had not noticed how people looked at him, nor would I try and guess what they saw. Were they showing compassion or disgust? Who knows?

I do know there are people in Nelson who will not come to our place because of “those people” who hang out on the corner. I also know there are people who come specifically because we do try to help where we can. Homelessness, mental health and substance use problems are varied and multifaceted. It is complicated. Many people have been failed by systems, families, situations, you name it. However, the bottom line is that illness has a cause. If the illness were cancer, Parkinson’s, or MS, most people’s response would be much more compassionate.

We choose to treat everyone with respect and dignity as all humans deserve. There is no judgement, no stigmatizing, no criticism.

As I go home to my hot dinner and crawl into my warm cozy bed, I can be grateful for all that I have, and I can choose to share that as best as I can, to hopefully make someone else’s life a little more tolerable.

Mari Plamondon

Nelson

Just Posted

Don Currie, local athletes win medal haul at 55-plus B.C. Games

Slocan’s Currie took home seven gold medals in track and field

Local runners tackle Toad Mountain

The 25 kilometre and 50 km event took runners over the top of Toad Mountain

Leafs fall 5-1 to Thunder Cats

Nelson is winless through its first two games

Disability employment awareness month: open house and inclusive employer award

Events take place in Nelson and Castlegar this week

Leafs lose marathon season opener

Nelson fell 3-2 to Fernie in double overtime

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

20 day search for missing Labradoodle in Princeton, B.C. ends with tears of joy

The search brought out bloodhounds, and groups hoping to find Mordy

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Largest driving factor is the province’s complex stumpage system that results in high fees, expert says

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

Most Read