Campaign to Support Olympic Tent Village

UPDATE: Many people have received a standard response from Andrea Reimer stating the following  “My understanding is that city staff from housing have tried to go on site to make this happen but have had a difficult time gaining access. I’m currently trying to figure out why that would be as it doesn’t seem in anyone’s interest to create a barrier to the city providing support.”

Tent city organizers and volunteers have confirmed to her that this information is misleading and incorrect as there has been NO communication, let alone commitment, from the City and/or BC Housing as of Feb 24th to house the approximately 50 homeless, under-housed and precariously housed occupants of Tent Village. A list of names has been submitted to BC Housing.

Andrea has since responded “On the issue of why the information I’m getting from our staff and people on site is so different, I’m trying to track that down. People are spread all over the place but I’m hoping that I can figure it out soon. Communications has been a challenge with the logistics demands of the olympics spreading us thin.”

Thanks to all who have written, please keep writing in and spread the word to keep the pressure up till we get a response and people are housed!

————————————————

We need to put public pressure on the City, and on the higher ups in BC Housing and the Ministry of Housing & SocialDevt. We need to send them emails and faxes tonight (Wednesday) and tomorrow (Thurs) morning. Below is a sample letter as well as contact information.

* PROVINCIAL CONTACTS:

Ministry of Housing and Social Development
Rich Coleman
rich.coleman.mla@leg.bc.ca
Fax: (604) 882-3154 or (250) 356-7292

BC Housing
Shayne Ramsay, CEO: sramsay@bchmc.bc.ca
Dale McMann, Director of Vancouver/Coastal Region
Facsimile: (604) 609-7031
Email: VanCoastalRegion@bchousing.org

* MUNICIPAL

Gregor Robertson, Mayor
FAX: 604.873.7685

Manager’s office: Penny Ballem, City Manager
FAX: 604-873-7641

Weny Au, Assistant City Manager
wendy.au@vancouver.ca

David Cadman
clrcadman@vancouver.ca, FAX: 604.873.7750

George Chow
clrchow@vancouver.ca, FAX: 604.873.7750

Heather Deal
clrdeal@vancouver.ca, FAX: 604.873.7750

Kerry Jang
clrjang@vancouver.ca, FAX: 604.873.7750

Raymond Louie
clrlouie@vancouver.ca, FAX: 604.873.7750

Geoff Meggs
clrmeggs@vancouver.ca, FAX: 604.873.7750

Andrea Reimer
clrreimer@vancouver.ca, FAX: 604.873.7750

Tim Stevenson
clrstevenson@vancouver.ca, FAX: 604.873.7750

Ellen Woodsworth
clrwoodsworth@vancouver.ca, FAX: 604.873.7750

SAMPLE LETTER

RE: Housing the homeless of the Tent Village at 58 West Hastings

Ending homelessness is one of the more important issues facing our city, and I am glad to see that many homeless people in Vancouver are working together at the Tent Village at 58 West Hastings to raise awareness about the issues facing them. I have been moved by this powerful initiative.

Every time I pass-by the Tent Village, I see that it has grown. On the one hand, this is testament to how much harder we have to work to turn around this homelessness crisis, but on the other hand, it is testament to the never-give-up attitude of even the most down-and-out members of our society.

I understand that many of the residents of the Tent Village have joined together to ask for housing. I would like to add my voice to the call that BC Housing and the City of Vancouver fast-track all of the homeless, under-housed, and precariously housed people currently living in the Tent Village without delay, and to meet with their representatives with that aim.

Sincerely,
(NAME, ADDRESS, CONTACT INFO)

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2 responses to “Campaign to Support Olympic Tent Village

  1. Deborah K Thompson

    I Support DTES.. Much needed awareness for the people who have no homes and are without food and other important needs..Please help the people who need this most of all… Homeless is not away of life..Please Help..

  2. Here is my first reply. I would suggest also adding Federal names and emails to your list above.

    Dear Cheryl

    Thank you very much for your important email message, as I agree that homelessness is one of the most important issues facing our city today and I am glad to see that many people have joined voices to highlight the urgent need for quality affordable housing.

    I am committed to the election goal of ending street homelessness by 2015 and we have been working very hard to make this happen through City initiatives like our HEAT shelter program and working closely with the Provincial government to build permanent affordable housing. The city has fast tracked our processes to make this happen and we are already developing some of the 14 sites that we made available to the province. Although full funding from the Province has not yet been confirmed, we are hopeful that this will happen and your voice will certainly be helpful in making that happen.

    As part of our efforts to relieve rental rate pressure on our low income rental stock we have also created policy and processes to create more affordable rental accomodations including our time limited Short Term Incentive for Rental STIR program along with options to create more secondary suites in our city.

    More specifically to 58 West Hastings, my understanding is that City staff have been attempting to meet and work to the goal of finding housing for those in need.

    Again thank you, and as a parting point I would ask that you also direct this important message to the Federal Government and the Official Opposition as they have significantly more resources available.

    Sincerely,

    Raymond Louie
    Councillor, City of Vancouver

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