Homelessness Action Week: October 11 – 17, 2015
“Can You See Me?”
Communities throughout Metro Vancouver come together next week for a weeklong event to raise awareness, celebrate successes and provide direct support for people who are homeless.
The 10th annual Homelessness Action Week takes place October 11 – 17 and features Thanksgiving meals, donation drives, fundraisers, Homeless Connect events, community dialogues and more in Burnaby, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Shore, Pitt Meadows, Richmond, South Surrey, Surrey, and Vancouver.
This initiative is supported by the Greater Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness (RSCH) together with Community Homeless Tables and community partners throughout the region.
“Homelessness Action Week is an opportunity to showcase the successes that come from working together and providing broad-based support to help those in need,” said Sandy Burpee, Interim Chair of RSCH.
“This year’s theme – Can You See Me? – reflects two realities of homelessness. Persons living rough outdoors feel invisible and disconnected from the surrounding community. And 80% of persons who are homeless are hidden from public view, temporarily on someone’s couch, staying in an emergency shelter or perhaps living in their car.”
The causes of homelessness are diverse, but the lack of access to safe, secure and affordable housing is experienced by everyone who is homeless. The increasing scarcity of affordable rental housing in Metro Vancouver is not only countering efforts to prevent homelessness, but also challenging initiatives to house persons who are homeless.
Community Homeless Tables, comprised of many organizations, individuals, and government agencies, work to prevent and alleviate poverty and homelessness in their communities.
Homelessness Action Week activities include Homeless Connect events – service fairs to engage and assist people who are homeless or vulnerably housed, and public events that connect citizens from all walks of life and put a face to those living in extreme poverty and homelessness.
“Homelessness Action Week builds community support for solutions to homelessness by raising public awareness and understanding of homelessness in the region”, added Burpee. “With a federal election approaching, it also provides an opportunity to encourage members of our communities to raise homelessness as an issue with their local candidates from all parties.”
For more information on Homelessness Action Week events throughout the Metro Vancouver area:www.stophomelessness.ca