In recent weeks, attempts to build housing for the homeless in both Langley and Vancouver have attracted intense local opposition.

Protest signs and public statements begin and end with safety. Children are often mentioned. Needles in parks, crack pipes, and crime rates come up again and again.

The overall impression is that there is nothing quite so dangerous as a homeless person.

I know people are scared, and I don’t want to insult anyone. But having met and interviewed many homeless people over the years, it’s hard for me to take these fears entirely seriously.