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AHA MEDIA visit inside Howe Street Shelter at 1442 Howe St in Vancouver

April 25, 2011 1 comment

AHA MEDIA together with Wendy Pedersen and Dave Murray of Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP) visit the Howe Street Shelter at 1442 Howe St in Vancouver that is due to be closed down on Thursday April 28, 2011

Homeless will start Tent City to demand shelter

Vancouver:  Five emergency shelters are scheduled to close because of lack of funding and commitment from the city and province starting on April 27th.  Homeless reps from three shelters with the support of housing advocates announced their intention to start tent cities outside shelters if funding is not renewed within 24 hours.

These 3 shelters are slowly emptying out and scheduled to close immediately:

747 Cardero St (Wednesday)

1442 Howe St (Thursday)

677 E Broadway @ Fraser St (Friday)

There are about 20-30 people remaining in these 3 shelters.  Residents in these shelters lack options once their shelters close.  They can’t rent apartments because of stigma from landlords.  No social housing is available.  Many can’t bear to go back to an infested, unsafe SRO in areas where they used to use drugs or have been “red zoned” by police.

As Marta from the Howe shelter said, “I’m going to stay right here in the alley.  We are here because we don’t want to be alone.  We got nobody.  Everyone else has a family, we don’t. This is our family.”  Marta said she doesn’t buy the excuse that governments don’t have money.  She explained that each person in her shelter is eligible for $375 a month for rent on welfare and if you multiply this by 40 people per shelter that means BC Housing already has $15,000 a month to spend to keep her shelter open.

“I can’t go to an SRO”, said Chase from the Cardero Shelter.  “I’ll go crazy and just end up back on the street.  If this shelter closes, I guess I’ll head to the Super Value parking lot.  That’s where we came from before they opened this place up.”  “If I lose this place, these regular meals and my guaranteed spot here, then I’ll go back to selling drugs to survive,” said Deanna, also from the Cardero Shelter.  Don from the Fraser shelter who is about 65 years old said:  “Two women near IGA on Broadway got me to come here about a month ago.  I’ve been outside a long time.  I guess if they close this, I’ll be in the doorways, back laneways and behind restaurants.”  Kerry from Howe said:  If this closes I’ll find an abandoned house.  I have my Coleman stove.  I hope nobody will notice me.  If this shuts down, the government will spend more money on corrections.  People here will be panhandling, living in the allies.  You would think they would rather we stay in the shelter.”

Shelter residents are under stress from poor health and because of the impending closure, but despite that, there is a strong spirit among many who want to stick together and form a vigil in front of the shelter to make their concerns heard.  Advocates have joined together to defend shelter residents from losing their ground, their networks of support and these makeshift homes.

Wendy Pedersen of the Carnegie Community Action Project said, “We are mortified that we have to fight for these shelters every year.  Premier Clark promised to regularize funding for shelters.  She needs to show she’s in charge and get funding within 24 hours plus commit to building 2000 social housing units a year in BC.  We need the Mayor to live up to his promises to end homelessness, buy land for social housing and cancel his office renovations in order to pay to keep these shelters open as long as needed.”

Gail Harmer, Council of Senior Citizens of BC, talked to shelter residents and asks:  “Do Vancouverites realize that increasingly seniors are among the people using these temporary shelters?  We simply cannot afford housing costs even after we sell all our possessions and go without medications and food!!  We appreciate the ‘care’ and ‘community’ of these temporary 24 hour shelters.  With their closing, the housing options offered by BC Housing are less appealing than the streets!  Can you imagine?!”

“Last spring, the City and Province shut down 5 shelters. Now they are shutting down 5 more, kicking people who have nowhere else to go onto the street. There is no good reason to do this. Everyone suffers. This cruel and precarious situation has to change,” said Tristan Markle of Vanact! “Mayor Robertson won power on the backs of the poor and working-poor, promising to make Vancouver affordable and to end homelessness. But the City is becoming less affordable every day, and the numbers of homeless are only increasing. We need a big change.”

“Here we are with shelters closing in the same week the City of Vancouver passes a law saying it is illegal to put up shelter on a public street,” said Doug King, lawyer at Pivot Legal Society.  “The lack of understanding is appalling.”

For more information, contact:

Wendy Pedersen, Carnegie Action Project (604) 839-0379

Nate Crompton, Vanact:   604-700-2309
Doug King, Pivot lawyer 778-898-6349

Advocates:

Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity

BC Association of People on Methadone

Carnegie Community Action Project

Citywide Housing Coalition

Council of Senior Citizens of BC (COSCO)

DTES Neighbourhood Council

DTES Women’s Centre Power to Women

Gallery Gachet

Indigenous Action Movement

Pivot Legal Society

St. Augustine’s social justice committee

Streams of Justice

Teaching Support Staff Union Social Justice Committee

Urban Subjects

Vanact!

Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users

Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society

Background info:

1)     Homeless Count

According to the 2010 homeless count, the number of homeless in Vancouver has increased 12% from 2008, from 1576 to 1762.  The count shows that the homeless continue to be disproportionately Aboriginal, older and in poor health.  Until now, most homeless people have been able to find shelter beds; the closure of these shelters will mean more than 600 people will sleep on the streets of Vancouver.

http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/housing/pdf/VancouverHomelessCount2010.pdf

AHA MEDIA visit inside Cardero Street Shelter at 747 Cardero St in Vancouver

April 25, 2011 Leave a comment

AHA MEDIA together with Wendy Pedersen and Dave Murray of Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP) visit the Cardero Street Shelter on 747 Cardero St in Vancouver that is due to be closed down on Wednesday April 27, 2011

Homeless will start Tent City to demand shelter

Vancouver:  Five emergency shelters are scheduled to close because of lack of funding and commitment from the city and province starting on April 27th.  Homeless reps from three shelters with the support of housing advocates announced their intention to start tent cities outside shelters if funding is not renewed within 24 hours.

These 3 shelters are slowly emptying out and scheduled to close immediately:

747 Cardero St (Wednesday)

1442 Howe St (Thursday)

677 E Broadway @ Fraser St (Friday)

There are about 20-30 people remaining in these 3 shelters.  Residents in these shelters lack options once their shelters close.  They can’t rent apartments because of stigma from landlords.  No social housing is available.  Many can’t bear to go back to an infested, unsafe SRO in areas where they used to use drugs or have been “red zoned” by police.

As Marta from the Howe shelter said, “I’m going to stay right here in the alley.  We are here because we don’t want to be alone.  We got nobody.  Everyone else has a family, we don’t. This is our family.”  Marta said she doesn’t buy the excuse that governments don’t have money.  She explained that each person in her shelter is eligible for $375 a month for rent on welfare and if you multiply this by 40 people per shelter that means BC Housing already has $15,000 a month to spend to keep her shelter open.

“I can’t go to an SRO”, said Chase from the Cardero Shelter.  “I’ll go crazy and just end up back on the street.  If this shelter closes, I guess I’ll head to the Super Value parking lot.  That’s where we came from before they opened this place up.”  “If I lose this place, these regular meals and my guaranteed spot here, then I’ll go back to selling drugs to survive,” said Deanna, also from the Cardero Shelter.  Don from the Fraser shelter who is about 65 years old said:  “Two women near IGA on Broadway got me to come here about a month ago.  I’ve been outside a long time.  I guess if they close this, I’ll be in the doorways, back laneways and behind restaurants.”  Kerry from Howe said:  If this closes I’ll find an abandoned house.  I have my Coleman stove.  I hope nobody will notice me.  If this shuts down, the government will spend more money on corrections.  People here will be panhandling, living in the allies.  You would think they would rather we stay in the shelter.”

Shelter residents are under stress from poor health and because of the impending closure, but despite that, there is a strong spirit among many who want to stick together and form a vigil in front of the shelter to make their concerns heard.  Advocates have joined together to defend shelter residents from losing their ground, their networks of support and these makeshift homes.

Wendy Pedersen of the Carnegie Community Action Project said, “We are mortified that we have to fight for these shelters every year.  Premier Clark promised to regularize funding for shelters.  She needs to show she’s in charge and get funding within 24 hours plus commit to building 2000 social housing units a year in BC.  We need the Mayor to live up to his promises to end homelessness, buy land for social housing and cancel his office renovations in order to pay to keep these shelters open as long as needed.”

Gail Harmer, Council of Senior Citizens of BC, talked to shelter residents and asks:  “Do Vancouverites realize that increasingly seniors are among the people using these temporary shelters?  We simply cannot afford housing costs even after we sell all our possessions and go without medications and food!!  We appreciate the ‘care’ and ‘community’ of these temporary 24 hour shelters.  With their closing, the housing options offered by BC Housing are less appealing than the streets!  Can you imagine?!”

“Last spring, the City and Province shut down 5 shelters. Now they are shutting down 5 more, kicking people who have nowhere else to go onto the street. There is no good reason to do this. Everyone suffers. This cruel and precarious situation has to change,” said Tristan Markle of Vanact! “Mayor Robertson won power on the backs of the poor and working-poor, promising to make Vancouver affordable and to end homelessness. But the City is becoming less affordable every day, and the numbers of homeless are only increasing. We need a big change.”

“Here we are with shelters closing in the same week the City of Vancouver passes a law saying it is illegal to put up shelter on a public street,” said Doug King, lawyer at Pivot Legal Society.  “The lack of understanding is appalling.”

For more information, contact:

Wendy Pedersen, Carnegie Action Project (604) 839-0379

Nate Crompton, Vanact:   604-700-2309
Doug King, Pivot lawyer 778-898-6349

Advocates:

Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity

BC Association of People on Methadone

Carnegie Community Action Project

Citywide Housing Coalition

Council of Senior Citizens of BC (COSCO)

DTES Neighbourhood Council

DTES Women’s Centre Power to Women

Gallery Gachet

Indigenous Action Movement

Pivot Legal Society

St. Augustine’s social justice committee

Streams of Justice

Teaching Support Staff Union Social Justice Committee

Urban Subjects

Vanact!

Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users

Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society

Background info:

1)     Homeless Count

According to the 2010 homeless count, the number of homeless in Vancouver has increased 12% from 2008, from 1576 to 1762.  The count shows that the homeless continue to be disproportionately Aboriginal, older and in poor health.  Until now, most homeless people have been able to find shelter beds; the closure of these shelters will mean more than 600 people will sleep on the streets of Vancouver.

http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/housing/pdf/VancouverHomelessCount2010.pdf

AHA MEDIA at Gentrification meeting of Vancouver Downtown Eastside hosted by CCAP – Carnegie Community Action Project

November 20, 2010 3 comments

75 + people attended the Gentrification meeting of the Vancouver Downtown Eastside at Carnegie Centre hosted by CCAP – Carnegie Community Action Project

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Downtown Eastsiders to take a mock SRO to Pt. Grey for High Tea in Vancouver

November 9, 2010 1 comment

Media Advisory

Downtown Eastsiders to take a mock  SRO to Pt. Grey for High Tea

Downtown Eastside residents and supporters plan to invade Point Grey with a mock SRO and two not-so-beloved creatures, Itchy the Bedbug and Creepy the Cockroach. They then plan to serve High Tea at a mystery location. The action, sponsored by Raise the Rates, will contrast living conditions for the poor and rich and point out that extreme income inequality actually shortens the lives of people who are poor and that unequal countries have more social problems than more equal countries.

The media was invited to:

·         See Downtown Eastside residents protest extreme wealth in the midst of poverty;

·         Learn facts about the impact of inequality;

·         Learn how inequality could be reduced.

Raise the Rates is a coalition of BC groups that want governments to reduce poverty and inequality.

To the owner of 4707 Belmont Drive

We are a gathering of individuals, members of community groups, and representatives from various organizations concerned with the levels of poverty and homelessness in BC, and the increasing degree of inequality in our province. Some of us struggle with poverty every day, others know poverty and homelessness through friends and family who are affected by these realities, and all are committed advocates for social justice. What unites us is our understanding that rampant inequality generates significant harm to individuals and communities, and undermines social health and well-being.

As the owner of one of the most expensive homes in Vancouver, you occupy the opposite end of the economic spectrum from us. Those on income assistance receive $375 for monthly rent, and the Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotel rooms available at that rate are mostly unfit for healthy human habitation (10’x10’ rooms without washrooms or kitchens and infested with bedbugs, cockroaches and mice). By contrast, your $31 million home has extravagant space (45,000 sq ft) and luxurious amenities (swimming pool, squash courts, etc.) for you and your family, far beyond what most families in the city or province would consider reasonable, adequate housing.

We are here today to highlight this immense inequality, and to call on you to publicly support the demands we have put forward. These demands call on the provincial and federal governments to raise welfare rates, end the barriers to receiving income assistance, increase minimum wage, build 2000 units of social housing per year in BC, replace the SRO housing stock in the Downtown Eastside with new units of social housing, and increase taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals. We ask you to contact the provincial and federal ministers of finance, housing and income assistance to assert your support of these demands.

Implementing such policies would significantly reduce poverty and homelessness in our province, and improve the lives of those most afflicted by the deprivation of basic necessities; it would also make our communities stronger and healthier for all. As recent studies have shown, rampant economic inequality has widespread negative social impacts. Life expectancy, homicide rates, drug abuse, child well-being, levels of trust, involvement in community life, mental illness, teenage birth rates, children’s math and literacy scores, the proportion of the population in prison, prevalence of racism, sexism and homophobia, and voter turnout are all worse in countries with greater inequality than those with more equality.

We invite you to add your voice and energy to this call for greater economic equality and the elimination of poverty and homelessness in our province. We do not seek charity but true justice in the political, social and economic structures of our collective lives.

 

 

HOMELESSNESS AND GENTRIFICATION Walking Tour with CCAP – Carnegie Community Action Project for 7th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival in Vancouver on Saturday Oct 30, 2010

October 30, 2010 2 comments

Walking Tour
HOMELESSNESS AND GENTRIFICATION with CCAP

Saturday October 30, 11:30am–1pm
Meet at steps of Carnegie Community Centre, 401 Main

Learn for yourself how gentrification causes homelessness in the Downtown Eastside. Led by Wendy Pedersen and volunteers from the Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP), this walking tour will go past new market housing that is pushing up land values and rents in 100 year old hotels. Learn how low-income residents are organizing to slow gentrification and preserve the good things about their community while working for more social housing. CCAP is building consensus within the community for a vision of the Downtown Eastside that hopefully the city will adopt. Visioning reports and information on gentrification can be found on their blog: www.ccapvancouver.wordpress.com. $10 for non-residents, pay what you can for local residents

Below is a video of Terry Hunter at Homelessness and Gentrification Walking Tour for Heart of the City Festival 2010

Below is a video of Wendy Pedersen at Homelessness and Gentrification Walking Tour for Heart of the City Festival 2010

AHA MEDIA is very proud to help provide social media coverage of the 7th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival in Vancouver from Pre festival events starting Wed Oct 20, 2010 through to the Main Festival during Wed Oct 27 – Sun Nov 7, 2010

http://www.heartofthecityfestival.com

AHA MEDIA is about exploring mobile media production through New Media cameras. For a better quality version of  video or for additional footage, please DM April Smith @AprilFilms on Twitter or Facebook.com/AprilFilms

Please follow AHA MEDIA on Twitter , Facebook, Youtube and Qik
http://www.twitter.com/AHAMEDIA
http://www.facebook.com/AHAMEDIA

http://www.youtube.com/AHAFILM

http://www.qik.com/AHAMEDIA

CCAP – Carnegie Community Action Project presents Community Vision for Change for Vancouver Downtown Eastside

July 21, 2010 Leave a comment

CCAP – Carnegie Community Action Project presented their Community Vision for Change for Vancouver Downtown Eastside to a packed auditorium in Carnegie Centre

Below are livestream videos taken by a Nokia N97 mini cameraphone

Below are photos of speakers and supporters who endorse the CCAP Vision of Downtown Eastside.

Please click on any of the following thumbnails to enlarge the photo :)

(With great thanks to Peter Oeder, Board Member of VANDU for helping out with photography)

Below is a photo of Wendy Pedersen speaking to Media about CCAP’s Community Vision for Change for Vancouver Downtown Eastside

Below is Leslie Murray and Hendrik Beune looking at the community mapping process

Below is Sid Tan speaking with brothers David and Leslie Murray

Below is Teresa Vandertuin speaking with J-Hock

Below is Terry Hunter with Sid Tan

Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP) to present a VISION for Downtown Eastside future in Vancouver – Tuesday, July 20 at 10 AM

July 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Low-income residents to launch Vision for Downtown Eastside future

What are the good things about the Downtown Eastside community?

How would residents solve problems in the Downtown Eastside?

How could Vancouver lead the world in treating its lowest income community with respect?

What is the Vision that residents have for the future of their community?

What are the Values and what Actions will help improve the Downtown Eastside?

Who supports this Vision?

Find out at a news conference:

Tuesday, July 20 at 10 AM

Carnegie Theatre, 401 Main St.

The Carnegie Community Action Project will present a Vision that is the results of two years of work and consultation with 1200 Downtown Eastside residents about what they want for their community and how to get it.

–30—

Contact:  Wendy Pedersen (604 839-0379

Jean Swanson (604 729-2380)


See livestream video of CCAP news conference at http://www.qik.com/ahamedia from a Nokia N97 mini cameraphone

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