A: BEAP has two interconnected aims:
- Over time, make a noticeable difference in the cleanliness, safety and harmony in those areas of Abbotsford where it is operating.
- Provide meaningful opportunities for homeless and drug using individuals to contribute to something positive in a way that will be recognized and appreciated.
How we do this may be a moving target. We know that many homeless and drug using people already are contributing positively to their communities, but there are innumerable obstacles that can get in the way of both persisting at these positive activities, and of being recognized for the value they are bringing to our community. Some basic issues we have needed to tackle are things like:
- How do we get trash cans within walking distance, especially for people with mobility challenges?
- If people have trouble showing up for an assigned shift, or conflict emerges, what do we do?
- Where can we store work supplies so BEAP Ambassadors can easily get access to them?
- If people need to use a washroom during a shift, where can they go?
- How can we ensure proper safety protocols and, in some cases, curb people’s enthusiasm to clean up Abbotsford’s curbs 24/7, when it might be a good idea to shoot for moderation?
- How can we help people safely manage pain while on their shifts?
- Will this donation help people get off drugs?
- Why should we fund BEAP to clean up the streets when my kid can’t get a job?
- What exactly is BEAP doing and how is it doing it?
- Won’t having BEAP around scare away our customers?
- How do we know BEAP Ambassadors aren’t casing the place while they are doing their “work”?
- Won’t supporting active drug users just cause more problems in our community?