Letter: Do you see those struggling on our streets?

The Editor,

I was at a SkyTrain station in Burnaby last weekend waiting to meet a date. While waiting, I saw there was a young couple sitting on the ground amidst their meagre possessions. They looked to be in pretty rough shape, especially the guy, and she was begging.

I walked over and asked the woman if her partner was OK and if there was anyone I could call for them.

She said he was sick, and I was thinking withdrawal symptoms. I only had $10 in my pocket but I gave it to them.

I went back to my bench to wait for my date to arrive but kept my eye on the couple, thinking I might need to call 911 if her partner appeared to be in distress. They just sat there looking like the weight of the world had ground them right down.

People continued to come and go from the SkyTrain station and no one, not even the SkyTrain staff, bothered to check to see if these two people were alright.

It's a very sad comment on who we have become as a society.

I get that amidst this housing crisis, we are all busy and caught up in our own issues.

I've been precariously employed since January but I refuse to allow my situation change how I see the world.

It costs you nothing to see a person and offer them a greeting. No one should be invisible or seen as disposable or not worthy of basic human dignity.

When we allow ourselves not to see the people around us, community breaks down and we all lose.

Rob Bottos, Coquitlam

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