Release: DTES Groups Demand Immediate Action on Homelessness and Housing

NEW VIDEOS FROM PRESS CONFERENCE:

MEDIA ADVISORY
ATTENTION: ALL LOCAL, NATIONAL, AND INTERNATIONAL NEWS EDITORS

==> DTES GROUPS PRESSURE GOVERNMENT AND BC HOUSING TO TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION ON HOMELESSNESS

WHAT: PRESS CONFERENCE
WHEN: WED FEB 24 AT 2 PM
WHERE: OLYMPIC TENT VILLAGE, 58 WEST HASTINGS, CORNER ABBOTT

WHO: Representatives from Streams of Justice, Pivot Legal Society, Impact on Communities Coalition, Downtown Eastside Women Centre Power of Women Group, Carnegie Community Action Project, Vancouver Action, Downtown Eastside Elders Council.

A growing coalition of Downtown Eastside groups is demanding that all levels of government and BC Housing take immediate action to provide housing to residents of the Olympic Homeless Tent Village who are homeless, under-housed, and precariously housed.

They will be hosting a press conference on Wed Feb 24 at 2 pm at the Tent Village site to pressure the government to take necessary steps to ensure adequate, safe, and affordable housing for the scores of DTES residents, homeless people, and youth who have been living in the make-shift Olympic Homeless Tent Village.

According to Lily Loncar, a DTES legal advocate and organizer of the Tent Village, “While Vancouver hosts a $7 billion party; the Tent Village is a stark reminder of the growing poverty, homelessness, and misery in Vancouver. Since BC Housing has the means and resources to fast-track the applications of Tent Village residents, we expect them to guarantee housing for Tent Village residents within the week.”

The Olympic Homeless Tent Village has been setup at 58 West Hastings, a lot owned by the condo developer Concord Pacific and currently used as a VANOC parking lot. For updates, articles, videos and a newly released newsletter “Tent Village Voice”, please visit
https://olympictentvillage.wordpress.com/

“The Olympic Tent Village has provided a sanctuary from the streets for residents of the Downtown Eastside. We have been able to provide warm meals, along with tents, blankets and sleeping bags. But this is not enough, people needs homes. We are not leaving until the government takes real action to end homelessness, especially for those who are clearly relying on the Tent Village for their safety and survival,” says Dave Diewert of Streams of Justice.

The 2010 Winter Olympics has escalated the homelessness crisis in
Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and the Greater Vancouver area. Since the Olympic bid, homelessness has nearly tripled in the Greater Vancouver Regional Distrct, while real estate and condominium development in the Downtown Eastside is outpacing social housing by a rate of 3:1.

Instead of empty lots and empty promises, the Olympic Tent Village calls for:

1. Real action to end homelessness now
2. End condo development and displacement in the Downtown Eastside
3. End discriminatory ticketing, police harassment, and all forms of criminalization of poverty.

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