In the Network: Media Co-op Dominion   Locals: HalifaxMontrealTorontoVancouver

Shelter Shutdown Standoff

by murray bush - flux photo

Police try to push into the shelter
Police stopped outside Fraser Shelter
Resident's belongings
Loading up with City of Vancouver truck
City deputy GM Brenda Prosken and activist Ivan Drury
RainCity staff at Fraser Shelter packing up resident belongings
Ode to BC Housing
Outside the Fraser Shelter
Wendy Pederson and Jean Swanson of CCAP occupying Christy Clark's office in Pt Grey
Occupying Christy Clark's office in Pt Grey
Whistler water and the premier
Housing Minister Rich 'tries so hard' Coleman

VANCOUVER - Housing advocates are occupying the Fraser Street Shelter at 677 East Broadway  in a bid to keep it open. The City of Vancouver and BC Housing shut down all five emergency shelters while homelessness rises and fewer low barrier places are left to go to (although the New Fountain shelter has a 60 day extension until some social housing units are  ready). BC Housing and City representatives found housing for many of the residents - but some admit the shelter would be full tonight if it remained open.  

Police and City security staff are outside the facility, but have remained outside since an early attempt to enter the shelter was rebuffed around midday. About 20 people are occupying the space and say food and support are welcome.

About a dozen housing advocates also occupied BC Premier Christy Clark's campaign office this afternoon. The occupation ended when Housing Minister Rich Coleman agreed to meet with the group at BC Housing.

Coleman was unapologetic about the closures and refused to even consider keeping any of them open. Speaker after speaker called for the shelters to stay open in light of the "ongoing emergency" but to no avail. Colemnan said he would not deviate from the original winter-only closure date. He complained throughout the hour-long meeting that despite money the province has put into social housing  "we get far more abuse than any other jurisdiction in the country"  and "I've tried so hard and gotten nothing but criticism." Coleman ended the session saying " I'm sorry you can't bring yourselves to accept that we actually have a plan." 

The housing advocates vowed to step up the action.

Catch the news as it breaks: follow the VMC on Twitter.
Join the Vancouver Media Co-op today. Click here to learn about the benefits of membership.

Creative Commons license icon Creative Commons license icon Creative Commons license icon

The site for the Vancouver local of The Media Co-op has been archived and will no longer be updated. Please visit the main Media Co-op website to learn more about the organization.