In the wake of a tragic double stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary that left a 13-year-old girl dead, one social worker is asking the public to hold back assumptions on the marginal community.
The alleged attacker, Gabriel Klein, is of no fixed address and appears to have stayed at shelters in the region.
Executive director of the Lookout Society Shayne Williams says the incident can reinforce perceptions that homeless people are violent or crazy.
“Don’t judge them on the actions of one man, one very sick man. What’s happened is an absolute tragedy and I know we all want someone to blame. It’s certainly not the vulnerable people in our community… Just the fact the gentlemen has no fixed address. Folks can do very terrible and evil things walking through our malls, or libraries or on the greyhound bus. It’s not a characterization of homeless people in general,” he said.
Williams says it’s a call for more resources.
“It’s indicative of the need to have mental health services embedded into existing resources where we know there is a prevalence of folks that could be suffering,” he said.
He adds people staying at the Lookout Society in Abbotsford are grieving over the death of Letisha Reimer too.