25 December 2009

On "Needy Renters"

One would think from reading the Cowichan NewsLeader that people who are struggling to find affordable rental housing are "needy renters."

Why do media types insist on using the word 'needy' when describing people without housing? People looking to be housed are not simply a bundle of needs. In fact, that's the least of who they/we are.

We have skills to offer, and insight and wisdom born from our struggles, which we wish others would recognize as useful and worthy of respect. We have solutions for our communities to what others deem intractable problems; and our solutions require considerably less outlay than those typically proposed by politicians, non-profits and business.

A serious shift in thinking is required. It can begin with simple acts, like journos and others no longer using words like 'needy' to describe people without housing.

Language matters. It's about R E S P E C T.

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