System fails homeless man

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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Editor: CBC Compass aired a story on January 3, 2014 regarding a homeless man with mental health issues. The issue was raised by Provincial Judge Nancy Orr who said the provincial legal and health-care systems failed the gentleman.

My concerns are with the province — both Health Minister Doug Currie and Community Services and Senior Minister Valerie Docherty and the front line staff in the disability support workers program. Were they not aware of the significance of this case even though it was a holiday season?

The gentleman who had pending charges was released after undergoing an assessment in Nova Scotia. The homeless man did not have any place to go after Christmas and New Year’s as there was no housing at Hillsboro Hospital or Unit 9.  

Judge Orr apologized to the gentleman and put him in Sleepy Hollow jail for his own safety. As a citizen of P.E.I., I find this disgraceful in the year 2014 that the powers to be are treating this individual as a second-class citizen.

I ask Minister Currie and Minister Docherty if the disability support workers and staff were aware of the current situation with this gentleman. It is shameful that Judge Orr had to apologize for the failure of department of health.  

I am sure that staff and both ministers had a comfortable and warm Christmas and New Year’s holiday. I can’t say the same for the gentleman who spent the night at Sleepy Hollow. Mental health issues and health care are declining into a wasteland. Putting a band-aid on healthcare is not going to help the situation. It will only be more costly in the long run for individuals with health care needs and mental health issues. These vulnerable individual deserve more respect.

Jo-Ann McInnis,


Organizations: Health Minister Doug Currie and Community Services, Hillsboro Hospital

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Charlottetown

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