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AHA MEDIA’s video for Vancouver Minute video contest by Vancouver Courier

July 17, 2013 Leave a comment

Help Me Understand the Heart of our Downtown Eastside (DTES) community in Vancouver

Beauty is only skin deep “they say”… in the civilized world

In the “uncivilized world” look a little deeper,

Than what meets the eye…

There is more unity in this community,

Than you may think!

Henny – B

AHA MEDIA

Help me understand…

Women are the most vulnerable,

It is important that we remember…

Never thought I would feel this way,

I committed crimes when I needed.

Tired of being hungry and poor…

84 dollars please!

Now I run!

Hunger Strike,

Day 14?

Heart of the City: Share, Hope, Respect, Home!

Everyday is a gift

Live in the DTES,

Understand the DTES!

- – VPD dances with community – -

We Won!!! InSite Won: Insight Won!

AHA MEDIA helps us understand

W2, Victory Square,

Woodwards,

DTES CAN!

New Media,

Social Media…

DTES LAPP?

Got Gear, Good to Go!

Puppy is here…

Carnegie Centre is here

AHA MEDIA right here!

Community is…

Always here,

In the Heart of the City! <3

Paint Party for Housing at Old Cop Shop – 312 Main Street in Vancouver

April 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Cover Photo

  • 312 Main Street Vancouver, B.C
  • Fully inclusive and tons of fun!
    *children welcome!

    Organized and taking place on unceded and occupied Coast Salish Territory – Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueum, and S?wxwú7mesh(Squamish) nations.

    PAINT PARTY AT THE OLD COP SHOP AT 312 MAIN STREET.

    WE WANT 100% SOCIAL HOUSING AT THE OLD – ABANDONED – COP SHOP. (see demands)

    LOCATION: 312 Main St. Vancouver.
    When: Sunday, April 14, 2013
    Time: 12 noon

    In conjunction with the DTES Hunger Strike.

    DTES Hunger Strike is about gentrification and the lack of concern by authorities: the City of Vancouver, developers, The Vancouver Police, and the general public. (as well as lying/disinforming mainstream media)

    The artist formerly known as “Homeless Dave” began a hunger strike on March 22/2013.

    The demands:
    1. 100% social community directed social housing at the 138 Sequel location, with a healing and wellness center. (the old pantages theatre site)

    2. 100% social housing at the old cop shop on Main St. with a community directed space focused on indigenous women in regards to the horrific damage done to indigenous people by Vancouver police for a very long time at that site.

    3. The City of Vancouver declare the downtown eastside a social justice zone and along with the community develop policies to make that happen.

    How to get involved: email dteshungerstrike@gmail.com
    Twitter: dteshungrstrike
    http://www.dteshungerstrike.blogspot.ca/
    https://www.facebook.com/DtesHungerStrike

Downtown Eastside Hunger Striker, (Formerly) Homeless Dave to “weigh-in” and deliver demands to City Hall

April 4, 2013 Leave a comment

Hendrik Beune and the AHA MEDIA team will be seeing Downtown Eastside Hunger Striker (Formerly) Homeless Dave “weigh-in” and deliver demands to during his March to City Hall

There is a lot going on in the DTES these days and people are willing to work together on a platform of common ground that does not leave out the poor man. How can this be done? Well, campaigns like this are just as important as all the political rallying going on to prepare us for the provincial elections. On a political level we must hand the wishes of the community over to the Mayor and Council and expect them to be respectful of the wishes of the community and follow the plan of development without displacement. So far so good… march on, perhaps stop and think for awhile?

dave poster.cdr

“Gentrification is intensifying; the housing crisis is deepening, and the health of the people and the land are under serious threat. Desperate times call for desperate measures.” -Homeless Dave

Day 14: Downtown Eastside Hunger Striker to “weigh-in” and deliver demands to City Hall

On Thursday, April 4th, Homeless Dave will be pushed in his wheelchair in a procession from Main and Hastings to City Hall. This will be Day 14 of Dave’s hunger strike for social housing and to stop gentrification in the Downtown Eastside.
At City Hall, Dave’s supporters, including Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, will deliver a letter to the Mayor’s office that requests a meeting and a response to hunger strike demands. At this time, Dave will make a presentation and be available for questions. Also, learn about Dave’s weight and health as he enters his third week without food.
483441_256152497854782_1878396315_n

Contacts:

Wendy Pedersen 604-839-0379

Lorelei Williams 778-709-6498

Tami Starlight 604-790-9943

Blog | http://dteshungerstrike.blogspot.ca/

Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/DtesHungerStrike

Twitter | @dteshungrstrike

March to block condos from the 100-block and defend Downtown Eastside low-income communities against gentrification and displacement

December 11, 2012 Leave a comment

March to block condos from the 100-block and defend Downtown Eastside low-income communities against gentrification and displacement

STOP PANTAGES CONDOS!
SOCIAL HOUSING NOT DISPLACEMENT!
SAY NO TO THE BC HOUSING BAILOUT OF SEQUEL 138 CONDOS!
Tuesday December 11
Rally & march meeting 2pm
In front of the Pantages demolition site at the blue wall
(About 138 E Hastings)

The developer who wants to build condos on the 100-block of E Hastings has recently announced a plan to start his sales. This project is part of a siege of the DTES by new condo projects that are driving up land prices and rents in hotels. Meanwhile, cops are clearing the streets and boutique shops are pushing out low-income serving stores and services.

The sales drive (whether imagined or a real threat) is backed by BC Housing dollars. A recent Province news article revealed that BC Housing bailed the Sequel 138 condos from the brink of foreclosure in the early summer with a low-interest $3.75M loan and promises $20M more to help with construction. Are Sequel 138 to be BC Housing’s first condos? (See more info below)

On Tuesday December 11 we will rally and march to demand social housing not expensive condos! People not profit! Stop gentrification! Community not displacement!

Organized by DTES Not for Developers Coalition
http://dtesnotfordevelopers.wordpress.com

–BACKGROUNDER–

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 6, 2012

BC HOUSING BAILS OUT CONDO DEVELOPER WHILE HOMELESSNESS CONTINUES

Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territory- Residents and organizations in the Downtown Eastside are outraged and alarmed at the recent news that BC Housing gave Sequel 138 condo developer Marc Williams a $3.75 million loan (at 1.29 percent interest) for pre-construction costs and may provide around $20 million to fund construction for condos at the Pantages site. According to news reports that interest rate is well below the going bank rate of 4 to 8 percent.

“About 850 people in the Downtown Eastside are homeless and another 3500 are surviving in totally inadequate hotel rooms,” said Beatrice Starr of the DTES Power of Women Group. “BC Housing’s mandate is to develop, manage and administer subsidized housing, yet it decides to subsidize a condo developer for a project that will provide only 9 units of welfare rate social housing, but 79 condos,” added Starr. “We have an urgent and critical need for at least 10,000 units of social housing annually in this province, yet BC Housing is instead offering corporate welfare and promoting the gentrification of the Downtown Eastside.”

“The BC Housing loan-subsidy saved Pantages developer Marc Williams from foreclosure and helped him meet the city order to clean up the demolition site that we demanded for over a year,” said Rick Alexander of Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU). “I live in the Brandiz hotel next to the Patanges site. Minister Coleman’s bailout of these condos could displace me and over 500 more low-income people like me who live in privately owned SRO hotels on this block. We could get renovicted because of gentrification. We want Coleman and BC Housing to do their job; end homelessness, don’t make it worse.”

Over the past year, an active campaign against condos on the Pantages sites has, thus far, delayed the Sequel 138 development. Over 40 organizations, housing providers, artists, and social workers have joined 2200 DTES residents in signing a Community Resolution opposing condos at the old Pantages Theatre site, stating, “We would not want to be complicit in a project that will further displace, impoverish, and police residents of the Downtown Eastside and make people feel more unwelcome in their own neighbourhood.”

Downtown Eastside residents are demanding a moratorium on all condo development in the Downtown Eastside until no one is homeless on the streets, in substandard SROs, or on shelter mats. They are also calling on Marc Williams to sell the Pantages parcel to the City at the 2010 assessed value and for the City to buy the site and work with BC Housing to develop it as 100% resident controlled social housing with low-income community space on the ground floor.

Mona Woodward, Executive Director of Aboriginal Front Door Society, is concerned about the impact of condos on the vital services in the 100-block for the low-income Aboriginal community; “The 100-block is near important services like AFD which represents off-reserve Aboriginal people. For us, the fight against gentrification is also against colonialism.”

Recent news suggests that Marc Williams will again be trying to ramp up his marketing strategy. The Downtown Eastside Not For Developers Coalition has called for a demonstration against the condo project and for 100% social housing, Tuesday December 11th at 2 pm at the Pantages site, 138 E. Hastings.

DTES Not for Developers Coalition
Contact:  Ivan Drury  604 781 7346

Grand Opening of Skwachàys Residence and Healing Lodge in Vancouver

June 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Affordable homes with Aboriginal supports open in Vancouver

VANCOUVER — Skwachàys Healing Lodge has officially opened to provide affordable housing for thosewho are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, as well as healing lodge apartments for Aboriginal individuals travelling to Vancouver for medical treatment.

“Our government is proud to invest in this important community infrastructure project that will have a positive impact on the lives of Aboriginal people and their families,” said the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. “We will continue to support initiatives like this to strengthen communities, help protect those most vulnerable and promote the health, safety and well-being of Aboriginal people and all Canadians.”

“The Province is working in partnership with other levels of government and communities to help end homelessness and to create housing that helps people move off the streets permanently,” said Rich Coleman, British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Housing. “This new building is now a safe home for 24 individuals and will provide interim housing for people seeking medical treatment.”

The recently completed housing development provides 24 affordable housing apartments for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The building also provides 18 healing lodge apartments for Aboriginal individuals and their immediate family who need to travel to Vancouver from rural and remote communities for medical services. The building also includes a commercial kitchen, an art gallery and a basement workshop as well as culturally-appropriate services, such as a sweat lodge and smudge room, which provide space for spiritual cleansing and healing.

The building, located at 31 W. Pender St. in Vancouver, is on the site of the former Pender Hotel, one of 24 single-room occupancy hotels the Province purchased in Vancouver to preserve existing housing stock. The hotel was demolished with care to preserve the heritage façade of the original building.

Funding for Skwachàys Healing Lodge comes from a variety of sources. Federal funding includes $2.7 million under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund as well as $451,500 through the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. The Province of British Columbia provided a $4.32-million grant, as well as land equity valued at approximately $2.8 million.

The City of Vancouver provided $490,000 and has waived development cost charges valued at approximately $156,000. Vancouver Native Housing Society is fundraising and contributing in kind funds of $261,000 and will be financing the remaining capital budget.

“Collaborative projects like the Skwachàys Healing Lodge demonstrate the remarkable progress that can be achieved to tackle homelessness when the community and all levels of government come together in creative partnerships,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson, City of Vancouver. “Vancouver’s population is only three per cent Aboriginal, but the 2012 Vancouver homeless count recently confirmed that over 30 per cent of Vancouver’s homeless population is of Aboriginal heritage. This important project helps to address the urgent need for new affordable housing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in a manner that supports Aboriginal peoples and embraces their rich cultural traditions.”

“The Skwachàys name was given to the building by Chief Ian Campbell of the Squamish Nation. It reflects the traditional name for this area, which Chief Campbell referred to as a place of transformation.” said David Eddy, CEO of the Vancouver Native Housing Society. “We placed a traditional longhouse – the first longhouse built in downtown Vancouver since before contact – on top of the building for use as a healing lodge. The longhouse and 40.5-foot story pole make a unique statement of the value and importance of the first peoples that have inhabited this area for millennia. It will not only provide appropriate housing and services to those without a home, but it will also provide affordable, culturally appropriate housing for Aboriginal people travelling to Vancouver for health care during a time when they may be vulnerable and in need of support.”

Vancouver Native Housing Society manages and operates Skwachàys Healing Lodge and the adjacent site located at 27 W. Pender St., which provides 98 affordable apartments. For 20 years, the society has been dedicated to providing housing for the urban Aboriginal community. They also provide programs that enrich the lives of their tenants and others in the community.

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