Archive for the ‘Housing’ Category

W2TV: Solidarity Notes Choir – Women’s Housing March and GentriFUCation Tour

September 18, 2011 Leave a comment


Sat. Sep 17 @ 1:30 pm
Starts at Cordova and Columbia, just west of Main St.
Unceded Coast Salish Territories

On Saturday Sep 17 at 1:30 pm, join the Downtown Eastside Women Centre Power of Women Group* in the 5th Annual March for Women’s Housing and March Against Poverty.

We invite groups to bring their banners and anything else for our festive march and ‘GentriFucation Tour’. All genders are welcome and celebrated. Please bring your drums and regalia. This march is child-friendly and there will be a rest-vehicle for elders. Spread the word!

This year, we celebrate the recent victory that has forced the provincial government to commit funding to a 24-hour low barrier shelter for women as a result of our collective efforts. We also continue to march for:
– Social Housing, Childcare, and Healthcare for all!
– No more Evictions and No more Gentrification in the Downtown Eastside!
– Stop Criminalizing the Poor!

Email: or Phone: 778 885 0040

Video by Sid Tan of W2TV

DTES Block Party to Block Condos on the 100 BLOCK of Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES)

September 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Sat. Sep 17 at around 4 pm
Music, food, and the last bit of summer sun!

Marc Williams wants to build condos at the old Pantages Site in the Downtown Eastside. Condos in the heart of the neighbourhood will cause higher property values, higher rents in single-room occupancies, displacement of current residents, increased policing, and low-income residents feeling unwelcome in their own neighbourhood.

We are getting the neighbourhood and all our allies together to protect the site for 100% social housing for low-income residents. The DTES is not for developers to make millions, it is for our vibrant and vital low-income community!

For more info:


* If you are a group, endorse the DTES Community Resolution:

* If you are an individual, sign the online petition:

* If you work in the DTES, sign the Boycott Statement:

* If you are a social housing provider, don’t collaborate with Sequel 138:

Organized by Stop Pantages Condos Coalition: Aboriginal Front Door, Carnegie Community Action Project, Citywide Housing Coalition, DTES Neighbourhood Council, DTES Power of Women Group, Gallery Gachet, Streams of Justice, Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users.

At Home/Chez Soi National Training event by Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) in Richmond, BC

May 25, 2011 1 comment

The At Home/Chez Soi research demonstration project is investigating mental health and homelessness in five Canadian cities: Moncton, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver.

The At Home/Chez Soi project is based on a Housing First approach.

A total of 2285 homeless people living with a mental illness will participate.

1,325 people from that group will be given a place to live, and will be offered services to assist them over the course of the initiative. The remaining participants will receive the regular services that are currently available in their cities.

Participants will have to pay a portion of their rent, and be visited at least once a week by program staff. The project is all about choice, and people will be able to choose housing within a number of different sites within their cities – including apartments and group homes.

The overall goal is to provide evidence about what services and systems could best help people who are living with a mental illness and are homeless. At the same time, the project will provide meaningful and practical support for hundreds of vulnerable people.

Data from this kind of extensive research does not currently exist in Canada.

The MHCC project is unique and the largest of its kind underway in the world right now.

A comparison between different Housing First approaches and “care as usual” is being studied in all cities. In addition, each of the sites has specific population targets and various sub-studies

1. Moncton: one of Canada’s fastest growing cities, with a shortage of services for Anglophones and Francophones.

2. Montreal: different mental health services provided to homeless people in Quebec.

3. Toronto: ethno-cultural diversity including new immigrants who are non-English speaking.

4. Vancouver: people who struggle with substance abuse and addictions.

5. Winnipeg: urban Aboriginal population.

Read more here

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


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


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.

New Fountain Shelter in Vancouver Downtown Eastside is threatened with closure, Please write a letter of support

February 16, 2011 1 comment

From New Fountain Shelter Staff:


Hello friends,

I am contacting you about something urgent to the daily lives of many downtown Vancouver residents. The shelter I work at is being threatened with closure. It will close, and leave about 45 people completely homeless and without the support of the shelter staff, food and services.

Please write us a letter of support to help us stay open. Please consider writing your letter soon as we need to get them by the end of the month.

Here is the statement

As some of you may know, the New Fountain Shelter is currently fighting to stay open. Our shelter is full nightly with approximately 45 homeless people. We feed, provide support in a person’s search for housing, distribute clothing donations and of course provide shelter for those who have none.

We are collecting letters of support. They can be simple or complex. They could express a personal experience at the New Fountain Shelter, or they could generally address the positive impact of shelters on our community.

If each of you takes the time to write and send even a small paragraph it will have a major impact.

Please send letters of support to: and

Thank you, we are depending on your support!

New Fountain Shelter Staff