Feb 26 Tent-in at BC Housing

MEDIA ADVISORY

==> TENT-IN AT BC HOUSING BY OLYMPIC TENT VILLAGE RESIDENTS AND SUPPORTERS

Tent-in at Fri Feb 26 at 2 pm at BC Housing Offices, 510-369 Terminal Avenue. Residents and supporters of the Olympic Tent Village will be staging a tent-in at the BC Housing offices (510-369 Terminal Avenue) on Fri Feb 26 at 2 pm to demand that all levels of government and BC Housing take immediate action to provide social housing to residents of the Olympic Homeless Tent Village who are homeless, under-housed, and precariously housed.

Article “Tent-In at BC Housing”, VMC

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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!

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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)

Feb 28: Olympic Tent Village Celebration!

OLYMPIC TENT VILLAGE:
Please join us to celebrate 2 WEEKS OF DIGNITY, HOPE, AND FREEDOM!

SUNDAY FEB 28TH 4:30 PM
58 W. Hastings, Across Army & Navy
Meal, Drummers, Entertainment. All Welcome!

https://olympictentvillage.wordpress.com/

BACKGROUND: The Olympic Tent Village was established on Monday February 15 on the empty lot at 58 West Hastings. The lot is owned by Olympic sponsor Concord Pacific, which has plans to build 160 condos on the site. Before being liberated as the Tent Village, the lot was being used as a VANOC parking lot.

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

Tent Village Voice – Issue 2

Read Issue 2 of the newsletter of the Tent Village! Download here

Village Voice ISSUE2

Audio, Photos, Articles

Audio: Dave Diewert from Streams of Justice
Audio: Harsha Walia on the Housing Rights Movement
Photos by Eve Harlow
Photos by luv n rev
Article in Asssociated Press
Article in AOL News
Article in The UK Independent
Article in The Ubyssey
Article in The Gateway Online

Press Release Mon Feb 22

Mon Feb 22th – As the Olympic Homeless Tent Village enters its second week, occupants are calling on the municipal and provincial government as well as BC Housing to immediately provide housing to occupants of the Tent Village who are homeless, under-housed, and precariously housed. They will be hosting a press conference on Monday Feb 22 at 2 pm at the Tent Village site.

Over the past week, hundreds of DTES residents, homeless people, and youth have been living in the Olympic Homeless Tent Village. According to Lily Loncar, an organizer, “While Vancouver hosts a $7 billion party, the Tent Village is a stark reminder of the growing poverty, homelessness, and misery in Vancouver.”

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. Meanwhile, a heightened police presence has further criminalized those living in extreme material poverty in the poorest postal code in Canada.

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.

Olympic Tent Village Enters Week 2, Needs Ongoing Support

Since Feb 15, 2010 the Olympic Tent Village has been set up at 58 West Hastings, an empty lot owned by notorious condo developer Concord Pacific, currently being leased by VANOC as a parking lot for the Olympics. The first few days at the Olympic Tent Village have gone strongly and smoothly, thanks to the community effort to support and defend it. Hundreds have gathered during the evening and through the night, especially DTES residents, homeless people, and youth.

* Read Issue 1 of Tent Village Voice: https://olympictentvillage.wordpress.com/2010/02/21/tent-village-voice-issue-1/

* Watch videos of DTES residents and homeless people residing at Tent Village: https://olympictentvillage.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/media/

Over the next week, we are calling on all supporters to continue to defend the Olympic Tent Village and to support the residents. We need:
– Volunteers to help cook at the Tent Village anytime drop-in starting at 8 am till 8 pm.
– Supporters to be present during the day 8 am to 4 pm and overnight 6 pm to 6 am.
– Independent media, legal observers and others with cameras in case of emergencies (please note, due to privacy concerns, there is no recording in the Tent Village otherwise)
– On site medic support especially overnight from 6 pm to 6 am.
– Donations of non perishable food items, tarps, tents, blankets, sleeping bags.

The 2010 Winter Olympics has escalated the homelessness crisis in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside – Canada’s poorest postal code – and the Greater Vancouver area. Since the Olympic bid, homelessness has nearly tripled in the GVRD, while real estate and condominium development in the Downtown Eastside is outpacing social housing by a rate of 3:1. Meanwhile, a heightened police presence has further criminalized those living in extreme material poverty in the poorest postal code in Canada.

With the eyes of the world on Vancouver, residents of the Downtown
Eastside and our supporters of the Olympic Tent Village want:
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.

The Olympic Tent Village has been an inspiring action to take over public space and empty lots, a powerful testament to the building of community, and a reclamation of dignity and freedom amidst daily systemic poverty and injustice.

For updates, articles, video, photos, and further information on how to support: https://olympictentvillage.wordpress.com