s I’ve watched protests against modular housing in Marpole, my heart has sunk. Residents rallying against the proposed site have pointed to the safety of local kids to justify their opposition.

The reality is, kids are not the ones in danger. Homeless people are.

Those who protest social housing in Marpole are acting on the gut fear we feel when something that makes us uncomfortable gets too close. They’re responding to the fear that people they love could come to harm. I understand that fear because I feel it, too.

I think of my friend and Megaphone vendor Mike, who died in an alley off Commercial Drive two weeks before Christmas last year during the coldest weather we’d seen in nearly a decade. A thoughtful, quiet guy with a sharp intellect, Mike had been homeless off and on for months, cycling between nights in shelters and outside on the street.