Editor: We are writing on behalf of the Peer-2-Peer Group and R.O.C.K. Missions to address the recent articles published in The Chatham Voice regarding our community’s most vulnerable people. While we appreciate the opportunity for open dialogue on important issues, we are deeply concerned about the hurtful language and lack of understanding and compassion.
The articles in question perpetuate harmful stereotypes and can contribute to the stigmatization and discrimination faced by people experiencing homelessness and people who use substances. Rather than promoting a constructive conversation about addressing these issues, they only serve to widen the divide and hinder progress.
On the front page of The Chatham Voice published on Nov. 2 there is a photo of an individual and where they are currently residing. There was no consent provided by this individual to be on the front page of the publication, and doing so places this individual at risk.
It is crucial to remember that the individuals we work with are some of the most vulnerable in our society, facing complex challenges that often stem from systemic issues beyond their control.
Every resident in Chatham-Kent deserves empathy, support, and understanding, not stigmatization.
The Peer-2-Peer Group and R.O.C.K. work tirelessly to provide vital support and resources to the community, including access to harm-reduction supplies, food, mental health services, and more.
We kindly request that The Chatham Voice considers the potential impact of the language used in articles related to homelessness and substance use. We believe in the power of the press to influence positive change in our community.
The R.O.C.K. Missions