The homeless shelter pastor others don’t see
I had a heavy heart when I found out the courts ruled in the City’s favour to close down the River City Homeless Shelter based on zoning by-laws. The court recognized the need for the shelter, and felt a lot of good was being accomplished, but in the end it boiled down to the politics of the law.
I’m saddened that our city is letting a few disgruntled neighbours make the call to shut down such an important facility when so many of the immediate neighbours insist it has not caused the neighbourhood any problems.
I am the proud daughter of George Esser, the man who started the shelter. I can assure you he didn’t start it to make his life easier. He didn’t start it to gain accolades, nor did he start it to spend his time and energy fighting the city for what he feels is necessary – providing food and shelter for people with nowhere to go.
The shelter sees all sorts. Some are down on their luck. Some have made bad life choices, and although they have no one to blame but themselves, I’m sure they are still appreciative of the warm bed. Many suffer from mental illnesses. Society has shunned them, but they are still humans with hearts and souls and basic needs.
No one sees what I see in my father. I see a man who will always help someone in need. I see a man who invites a homeless man home for dinner, so he can have warmth and company, man who is Power of Attorney for several people with mental illnesses who lack the capacity to deal with their own finances.
This shelter doesn’t cost the city anything, but I promise you it makes a world of difference. Some people get turned away from the Inn for various reasons.
Thankfully, River City has a (struggling) food bank to ensure no one remains hungry. What about the man who came in during the last cold snap with nothing but 6 bags on each of his feet? River City was able to give him a pair of donated boots.
We need to let the city know we want Sarnia to be a city we can be proud of, a city that helps those in need.
Tiptoeing through doggie do-do
I have always enjoyed Canatara Park and area in all seasons. It is a jewel in the midst of our city and Sarnians are so fortunate to have it so close and accessible.
Lately, when I have been walking there, I have noticed more and more piles of dog excrement all over the park. In fact it is so bad now, that it is difficult to enjoy one’s surroundings as one is constantly looking down in order to avoid stepping in the you-know-what.
It must be awful if one is walking with young children. The other day, I was walking through the woods on the path that is south east of Lake Chipican and I was appalled at the piles of doggie-do that are either on the path or right beside it.
I know that there will always be those that think they are above cleaning up after their dog, but this is the absolute worst that I have ever seen at our beautiful Canatara Park.
There are many owners of dogs who do clean up after their pets on walks in parks and throughout the city, and this letter is absolutely not intended for them.
It is for the people who do a big disservice to themselves, their dogs, the environment, and nature lovers who would really like to enjoy a walk without tiptoeing through the dog crap. Please stoop and scoop after your dogs wherever you go, and help to keep our beautiful city clean. Thanks!
Reader gives Journal top marks
I’m passing along the opinions on your new newspaper that I’ve been hearing from the public.
“Finally, a Sarnia-oriented newspaper.”
“I read every page!”
“It can only get better.”
All in all I’d say The Journal has earned an A+. It didn’t disappoint. Congratulations!
Hat tipped to kindly neighbours
Thank goodness we have a place to have our local letters to the editor printed.
This has been an horrific winter for seniors who have so much snow to be cleared. I want to pay tribute to those neighbours of seniors who have so generously cleared snow away for us.
I looked out yesterday and as cold and windy as it was, there was my neighbour, Pete, clearing out not just my place but also the other driveways on either side of me.
I want to thank him publicly as well as others who have been so good to us. Keep up the good work at the Sarnia Journal. I especially loved the lead story about the Hadfields. Your second issue was great, too.
Best of luck to you all.
Congratulation on new adventure
Congratulations to the Sarnia Journal team on your new adventure. It’s a great way to keep the community connected and informed. Working together we can succeed and be a very caring and successful city.
Congrats on professional-looking paper
Congratulations on a fabulous first issue!
It is great to see a new local paper with real local news and not the same old columns that appear in most of the papers you read around here these days.
I think it is a great compliment that you have so many high quality advertisers supporting you right out of the starting gate. This shows the community is in agreement with your ideas.
As a semi-retired publisher and former graphic arts teacher I congratulate your staff on a professional-looking product that I am sure will be a huge success!
Keep up the good work!