Delta, British Columbia is a rural area outside of Vancouver BC. This is what was thought to be home to two young adults who are in conflict with the law and have a disability. One was brought home from the regional pretrial centre after spending several months there while the justice system attempted to  determine what they should do with him. Lucky for him, they did not put him in jail. He has lived in his home for over a year. Just over three months ago, a second young adult became his room mate and has come from being in the jail system for two years. Both adults were subjects of public notices notifying the communities they live in. Delta is no longer home. Unfortunately that community could not embrace these adults as viable members of the community. They failed to see their gifts and were "run out of town" so to speak.

They moved a few weeks ago to a rural area further away and now call Abbottsford BC home. This was the beginning of August. Now, their streets are covered with signs that say "sex offenders live here", "make them leave", "perverts and pedophiles.". No one bothered to come to talk to them to see who they really are. This neighbourhood can learn so much from these persons. Even their room mate who keeps them safe now from irate people who are in the neighbourhood has lots he can offer. The gifts they offer are ignored at the moment. Simply put, the neighbourhood wants them out.

Some of the neighbours I have talked with say things like, "they don't belong here, no one asked us, we are afraid, they should go live where there are no people, they should live in jail, we will make them uncomfortable until they leave."

I am inviting them and others to "Start the Conversation" - Community capacity building through housing/neighbourhood  solutions for high profile offenders who have a disability.

The issue involves a looks at:

  • where should/could they live when they are released if not in your neighbourhood?
  • what are the real factors contributing to the fear?
  • what are some solutions to offer to keep community and these adults safe?

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