For the first time since the shooting death of a Cambridge woman, a statement has been released on behalf of the Schaller and MacDonald families, calling for people to use their words and voices to make the community better and get criminals off the street.
Carol Thorman is the sister of Helen Schaller, and also a Cambridge business owner.
"We had hoped to be able to send this out the minute the perpetrator was arrested, but these things need to be said immediately," she says in an email to 570 NEWS.
Schaller, 58, was shot in broad daylight in the afternoon hours of April 17 in Cambridge, and later died in hospital.
Police are still searching for a suspect, and have released photos of a red Honda Fit that was seen leaving the area of King and Westminster at the time of the shooting, headed towards Guelph.
They also want to speak with a man, described as white, between 20 to 40 years, with a slim build and shaved or bald head.
Schaller was remembered at a funeral Wednesday.
"Thank you to our community, who are frightened, shocked and saddened by this act of violence for helping to hold our family together in this time of great sorrow.
To everyone who has expressed that "they have no words", we understand. However, we also have very tangible ways you can use words to make sure that this scourge overtaking our community and others stops!
Use your words to make sure that our police force has the tools and manpower they need to get these dangerous criminals off our streets. Just listening to the police scanner shows how thinly spread their resources are in relation to the number of calls they get.
Use your words to those in judicial circles so that when they are apprehended they are given appropriate punishment and not just returned to the streets. Demand that distributors of fatal drugs are charged with the most serious charges possible
Use your words to let every level of government know that what we demand better solutions, such as more mental health resources, affordable housing, rehabilitation beds and rapid access clinics. Safe consumption sites give a false sense of security and fail to address the fact that 78% of overdoses in our region occur in private homes and shelters. Overdoses will continue to occur, whether they are reversed or not, if we don't start providing real help. Educate yourself about how other communities have had great success with their programs to decrease and eliminate drug use, like the tiny state of Rhode Island. Have your eyes opened by watching the Youtube video, "Seattle is Dying" for a mind opening education.
Use your voice to let council know that we did not just voice our concerns to keep Safe Consumption Sites out of our core areas, but to keep them out of our city beginning at the meeting at City Hall on May 1.
Use your voice to let the medical and pharmaceutical community know that we hold them accountable for contributing to this mess and expect them to provide long term solutions, without profiting further for a problem they helped create.
Use your voice to make sure our local food bank stops being used for needle distribution so those who need the services they were founded to provide will not feel intimidated to approach. Cambridge currently has 5 locations where needles are available, while Waterloo has one.
Use your voice to claim back our public parks and trails. The more we use them the less desirable they become to the criminal element. Use your voice to make sure every time you are a victim of crime, you report it.
Use your voice, like Helen, to cheer on your kids and grandkids at sporting and school events. Busy, supported kids are less likely to fall prey to bad habits.
Support your local business communities and refuse to be held hostage to fear. We can't and won't allow a few to intimidate us. We believe that this community is filled with good people and we are taking it back from those who want to destroy it.
If we all use our voices, Helen's devastating loss can be the catalyst to make our community whole again. She always found a way to find the good in people and worked to leave this world a better place than she found it.
It is up to us to carry on that legacy.