Gentrification, affordable housing and homelessness in Vancouver's DTES

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6079_Smith_W

epaulo13 wrote:

your statement that actions by the dtes should lead to the solution is outragous and it really pisses me off.

Well if this is nothing more than an outlet for frustration (however justified) with no productive end goal other than driving out a restaurant, then I am sorry, but I really don't get it. And while I do sympathise with that sort of cry for help (whether you believe me or not) I have no obligation to say I think that lashing out is a good thing. I don't.

And this isn't "the dtes", but rather a group of people. And I don't say that to undermine them, but I think the forces behind this are a bit more complex than to say it is a clear act of will by an entire neighbourhood. Same way as poverty in your city isn't just in the DTES, even though it is the nexus for it. It is everywhere.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And this isn't "the dtes", but rather a group of people. And I don't say that to undermine them, but I think the forces behind this are a bit more complex than to say it is a clear act of will by an entire neighbourhood. Same way as poverty in your city isn't just in the DTES, even though it is the nexus for it. It is everywhere.

..again with the assumptions. "homeless dave" was there as well as a number of dtes residents. these people represent the dtes. dave if you look up thread is very much one of the spokes persons for the community and has been for a long while. if you look upthread you can see some of the support for him. you just seem to want to push your position and your not letting anything in. i don't understand that as caring or understanding.

eta: but you should already know that about dave from the threads i wrote. seeing that you have read them.

6079_Smith_W

Yes, I read them.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I think it's outrageous, frankly Winston, that you are lecturing us about how the "issue" is more "complex" than we realize. And you do it with the MSM talking points -- which have been debunked in this very thread -- like the people behind these actions are a minority, that businesses just want a fair shake, and so on. And then you have the gall to express sympathy and concern for the broader struggle. Epaulo13 is right. It's unreal.

NorthReport

Good interview with former NDP Premier Mike Harcourt

 

Mike Harcourt weighs in on delicate issues behind Pidgin protests

You don’t share the scorn that has been directed at the Pidgin protesters. Why not?

 

I don’t scorn them, because I think you’ve got to recognize the fear of the low-income residents of the neighbourhood becoming gentrified and turned into Yaletown. I’m not being critical of Yaletown. I’m simply saying this is the only community in the city where the poor are the majority, and there is fear that’s going to change dramatically, that they are going to be turned into a freak show, into something to gawk at. So that’s the issue, not the restaurant. It has angered a lot of low-income people and triggered a legitimate fear, which is worth respecting.

 

Is the fear well-grounded?

 

If it becomes Yaletown East, yes. If you don’t get the balance right, and you don’t get the attitudes right, you have folks who go into this grittier, harder-edge neighbourhood, knowing people there have mental illnesses and serious problems, and then they start saying: “Hey, clean this neighbourhood up.” Well, where would they go? There’s no other neighbourhood left.

 

Can you stop that?

 

You can provide a lot more affordable housing to counter-balance the condos, and have a balanced approach towards development. If all the restaurants and shops in the neighbourhood become chichi, there’s no place for the poor or working poor to get affordable groceries or a meal or buy clothes.

Then you really have taken away the essential nature of the Downtown Eastside. We want to transform it from the mess it is now into a place we’re all proud of. How you do that is the real issue.

 

Is the right mix possible?

 

It’s hard. You’ve got to work at it, like we did on the south side of False Creek. We social-engineered there, so that two-thirds of the people were low- or middle-income.

How do you bring in the reasonably priced groceries and eateries? It’s been pretty barren since long before the Pidgin showed up.

 

I’m not opposing the Pidgin, and I’m not opposed to change. I’m just talking about the worry of the people we’re working with. You don’t want Hastings to become Robson Street. We need to make conscious decisions to deal with that.

You can build affordable housing for the homeless or near-homeless and bring in supplements and rental housing programs for the working poor, and up the welfare shelter allowance from $375 to $425. You can have social enterprise restaurants and stores. You can do what the really entrepreneurial guy at Save-On-Meats [Mark Brand] has done.

 

Can we afford all that housing you say is necessary?

 

Every time you house a chronically homeless person, you save at least $20,000 to $30,000. You save on policing, ambulances, emergency wards and jails.

 

Why is gentrification such a bad thing for the Downtown Eastside?

 

Gentrification is Yaletown East. You basically overwhelm the poor people with rich or richer people. But I also don’t think it should stay a ghetto, forcing all those with problems into one small area of the city, which is what we’ve done. We’ve overloaded the Downtown Eastside, and that’s why I’m into some offloading of the homeless, the mentally ill, back into the neighbourhoods they came from, while still keeping the original character of the Downtown Eastside. A healthy mix would have a majority stay low-income and working poor, some middle-income, and then you can have wealthier people in condos.

 

Should the restaurant be picketed, though?

 

I don’t have a strong position one way or the other. But shining lights in people’s eyes is where you go too far, and you lose support.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/mike-harcourt-weigh...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..setting up today's event at the pantages site.

..today’s event announcing the hunger strike was a huge success with a shit load of mainstream and other media showing up.

..grand chief stewart phillip (in the middle) is here to endorse the hunger strike.


 

..this is “homeless” dave being interviewed. it is dave who is on the hunger strike.


 

..speaking is jean swanson while the woman in the back represents the musquium nation and has participated in a struggle to rescue of a burial ground. the man in the white tshirt was the person who reached out to the grand chief which led to chief phillip being here.

..standing next to homeless dave is one of the first native woman ever elected to a school board in the lower mainland. she is a member in new west and she spoke in support of the hunger strike.

..i'll now be heading to the other event which will happen today at 6pm at pidgin restaurant.

6079_Smith_W

Catchfire. All I said was that I think this is a bad action, I don't support it, and I don't think it is going to accomplish anything, even if it is successful.

Some of you don't like that? It's hardly a surprise, and I don't care. Nor do I care that you support it. I'm not lecturing anyone.

But calling me insincere and making allusions to ulterior motives? Well, if I wanted to get bent out of shape about it I'd call a moderator, as it is I am just a bit mystified as to why some can't seem to wrap their heads around a fairly simple difference of opinion around tactics.

Can we drop it and move on? I'm done with it, really.

 

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

All I said was that I think this is a bad action, I don't support it, and I don't think it is going to accomplish anything, even if it is successful.

Tongue out

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..nice pics

Photos from Hunger Strike at Pantages Condo Site & Pidgin Restaurant Protest,


http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/photo/hunger-strike-pantages-condo-site-pi...

DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE - A hunger strike was launched today at the site of the controversial proposed  Sequel 138 condo project near Main and Hastings.

(Formerly) Homeless Dave, 51, launched the hunger strike to protest gentrification and to back demands for adequate social housing in the area. His demands include: 100% community-directed social housing at the Sequel site with a healing and wellness centre; 100% social housing at the former cop shop on Main with a community-directed space focused on women and aboriginal people in recognition of the horrific damage done over the years by the Vancouver Police at that site and: that the City declare the Downtown Eastside a "Social Justice Zone" along with policies to make it happen.

“Gentrification is intensifying; the housing crisis is deepening, and the health of the people and the land are under serious threat.  Desperate times call for desperate measures,” says Dave.

The action is scheduled to move to outside the Pidgin Restaurant across from Pigeon Park at 6pm tonight. Organizers say Dave will be on hand at the Sequel site from 12 Noon - 1 pm on weekdays and at the Pidgin Tuesday-Friday from 6-8 pm.

The organizers say Dave will drink Sage tea and Happy Planet juice (once a day for diabetes) and that there will be regular weekly check ups with his health team.

http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/photo/hunger-strike-targets-gentrification...

6079_Smith_W

I hope they get it (and with the cop shop being a city building, why shouldn't they?) and it's a shame they have to go to those lengths to press the point.

Regarding that cop shop, about 12 years ago I came out of the restaurant across the street to find someone had stuck a handgun in the spokes of my bike. I went into the bank next door and asked the guard to call the cops, and waited half an hour for them to come from across the street. They never did, and finally I got the guard to pick up the gun.

If that isn't the definition of useless I don't know what is. That place should have been gone years ago.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Pivot intern reflects on a DTES tour

I was recently taken on two tours of the Downtown Eastside (DTES) with two of my friends who both work in the area. One has been actively involved in volunteerism with several of the local community support services for 30 years and the other is a veteran social worker of 20+ years. I wasn’t sure of what to expect, but after having read Cracks in the Foundation, I was confident that the adventure I was about to embark on was going to sadden me and anger me. I was right, it did.

My introduction started off by a brief history lesson of the Riverview hospital. It was a medical institution that cared for many individuals with mental illness. It closed once mental health care became regionalized. Upon sizing down, many of its residents were not welcomed back to their respective communities with open arms as the hospital’s administration expected. Former patients eventually ended up in the DTES. At the time, it was the only place they could afford to stay long-term. Many of today’s DTES residents are descendants of those individuals, giving the area a long history of suffering....

http://www.pivotlegal.org/pivot_intern_reflects_on_a_dtes_tour

...............

Cracks in the Foundation

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms still allows homeless people to sleep on the streets, beg for money, and carry all their belongings around with them. Even the law will not stop public defecation when there are no accessible toilets, a daily dilemma for many people. The solution to the housing crisis in Vancouver must address not only the symptoms, but also the underlying causes of homelessness.

Affordable, accessible housing must be available to those who need it before it is fair or practical to speak of law enforcement as a solution to the public disorder and disturbance that accompanies a lack of low-income housing....

http://www.pivotlegal.org/cracks_in_the_foundation

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

ACCESS: Roasting Pidgin with Wendy Pedersen and Tami Starlight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLykyJy-ucQ&feature=player_embedded

Bacchus

Interesting articles, thanks epualo

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Proposed condos next door to Oppenheimer Park already hurting low-income residents

Daniel Boffo is a young developer born into a family real estate development company far from poverty and the streets.

That’s why, at last month’s public information meeting about the condo project he wants to build on the block between Oppenheimer and the UGM shelter, I was astonished to hear him compare himself to people on welfare living in nearby SRO hotel rooms.

Herb Varley, a young Nuu-chah-nulth and Nisga’a man who lived in a hotel down the street for two years, told Boffo that hotel residents are there because they have no choice. “No one wants to live in hotels,” he said, “but the other option they have is the street. If you build a condo here, it will push up land and rent prices and you will push those people out on the street.” Daniel Boffo didn’t flinch. He said that people don’t get to choose where they want to live; “I want to live in a mansion on the water and I don’t get to do that.” Then he said that if low-income people want to be comfortable in other places besides the Downtown Eastside they should get out there and stop being prejudiced against higher income people...

http://themainlander.com/2013/03/24/proposed-condos-next-door-to-oppenhe...

ennir

The reference, in the walking tour linked to above, of the friendly drug dealers was hilarious. I met one of those friendly drug dealers from Vancouver many years ago, he was travelling the country offering free heroin, I was only sixteen, I was homeless, I just wasn't interested in the heroin, he wasn't so friendly after that. I wonder how many homeless young women or men have ended up in the DTES just that way? 

As to the comments upthread about the rights of police, it has been my view for a very long time that we are free only in so far as we do not appear to jeopardize the status quo. i.e. not free, freedom is a delusion we suffer from, it keeps us voting.

I think we have a backwards kind of thinking about poverty and by that I mean you and I agree that poverty is not a good thing, that with poverty comes a number of ills but poverty from another perspective, the perspective of the ruling class, is very useful, it is a whip with which to keep the middle class in line, it provides the opportunity to help and with help comes shaping the social agenda......and not to forget the galas, the fabulous fund raising events where everyone can feel quite satisfied that they have done their part and dress in fabulous clothes at the same time!

Trying to shame the wealthy with protests and hunger strikes IMV is pointless, they are shameless, but mocking them might be effective, they are not without egos.

 

 

 

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..or hitting them in the pocket book ennir. shame i agree they don't have. txs for your comments. my 1st dealer was the friendly bartender the one you can always talk to. my second was the trusted doctor. you've given me a wonderful idea. that of going down to the second hand store and trying to get an old tux to parade around in while i'm at pidgin. i will need to develop a character and rehearse a bit.

..your welcome bacchus!

6079_Smith_W

Quote:

Trying to shame the wealthy with protests and hunger strikes IMV is pointless, they are shameless, but mocking them might be effective, they are not without egos.

Sure, but I wouldn't say it's just about the wealthy, although this is certainly being driven in part by greed, and land that is in short supply.

I am having a conversation elsewhere with someone who wants to tax non-profit groups based on an assumption that that will drive poverty out of a neighbourhood that person sees as a "throw-away community". It is a neighbourhood I see as one of the most vibrant and important ones in town, and where I go regularly.

This is certainly about wealth, but it is also supported by people in all strata who don't want to see any diversity, or anything they see as difficult or threatening, and who won't be happy until every neighbourhood is a generic copy of every other one.

Not that I'm against mocking the wealthy (I did it myself on Halloween; you can get surprisingly realistic play money at school supply stores), but there are others whose values are also part of the problem

 

Bolo

This whole issue is partly due to a succession of governments, of all political stripes, closing down the various institutions where the majority of these folks in the DTES should rightly be. It all started with the Socreds and Tranquille.

But there are also a certain number of folks down there who are not emotionally or intellectually afflicted and who simply enyoy the streetlife and living off avails of panhandling and governent handouts. Some of them are anarchists and see the so-called "gentrification" as an end to the gravy train. I see no reason why any of these folks should hold they have the right to live in some of the most expsnsive real estate in North Anerica on the taxpayers dime.

I'd like to live in Monaco, but I can't afford it. So I live where I can afford. Is there a good reason why these folks should not be held to the same standards?

Don't build "affordable housing" in the centre of a thriving, bustling (despite mayor Moonbeam's worst efforts) city. Put it in a suburb where the municipality can benefit from the expenditure of tax dollars and perhaps the beneficiaries of the taxpayer's largess might escape some of the negative influences they so willingly give in to.

Rather, develope the DTES and reap the benfits of the taxes which would be paid, instead of losing the taxes being wasted there now.

 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

@ Bolo

I don't agree. If this was development that benefitted the entire community, and not just speculators and carpetbaggers it would be one thing. But then, if that was the case I don't think we'd see low income housing targetted and the community under threat the way it has been.

I do see the benefits of development, but not if it means a very few cashing in big, tearing a community apart, and then leaving the rest of us to take the fall and pay for the damage.

 

 

NorthReport

Power to fix rising rents in private SROs lies with province, Vancouver councillor says

 

http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/2013/03/26/SRO-Rent-Fix/

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Bolo wrote:
But there are also a certain number of folks down there who are not emotionally or intellectually afflicted and who simply enyoy the streetlife and living off avails of panhandling and governent handouts.

Aside from the fact that this statement is laughable -- "government handouts" in BC, if you can get them, amount to $610 a month in North America's most expensive city  -- it constitutes poor-bashing and is against babble policy.

I see no reason why any of these folks should hold they have the right to live in some of the most expsnsive real estate in North Anerica on the taxpayers dime.

I'd like to live in Monaco, but I can't afford it. So I live where I can afford. Is there a good reason why these folks should not be held to the same standards?

Do you believe that only the rich "have the right" to live where they wish?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Bolo,

Tranquille was an institution for people with developmental disabilities that was shut down in 1985. As a community advocate and volunteer board member I helped develop housing and other services for the people returning to the community I lived in.  It was one of the things that the Socreds did right.  That was because before she went into politics Gracie worked as a volunteer with societies helping people with what was then called mental retardation.  That has very little if anything to do with any problems on the DTES. 

The closing of Riverview Hospital, in stages from the mid eighties to the late nineties, is likely what you are trying to refer to. It housed people with mental illnesses and those people never got the proper services in the communities they moved too and I believe that there are many former Riverview patients in the DTES.

Bolo

6079. Developement there would benefit the community by providing new taxes.  Moving those folks into gentler surroundings would also be a benefit. A benefit to them which may well help many of them in their efforts to get out of the circumstances in which they fiind themselves.

If developers aren't allowed to make money, they simply will not develope. Where will we be then? No new taxes, no new jobs, no supplies and building materials being purchased.

Catchfire, the statemement is not laughable at all. It is not even funny. It is true and there have been studies done which have shown it to be true. http://athome.nfb.ca/athome/blog/?p=1442. here have also been numerous TV reporters inteviewing, mostly young people, who claim it is simply a lifstyle they enjoy. Not everyone on the street is there because they have nowhere else to go. As I said, if one cannot afford to live in a city one likes, one must live in a city one can afford. As I do. Either that, or take whatever steps are legally necessary to provide oneself with sufficient income to afford said city. Further, one has the "right" to live where one can afford. There is no "right" to live where one cannot afford at the expense of others. As for your "poor-bashing" accusation, it is unfounded. Pointing out facts and truths can hardly be considered poor-bashing, except perhaps by certain extremists.

Kropotkin, thanks for that clarificaton. Regardless, there have been a number of Riverview-type institutions closed down over the last 30 odd years by various governments for various reasons. Not-with-standing your doubtless fine work setting up various programs in your community, in each case where one of these places was closed community programs were promised, but never materialized...which is one of the reasons there are as many troubled people on the DTES, as there are.

 

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Bolo wrote:

Kropotkin, thanks for that clarificaton. Regardless, there have been a number of Riverview-type institutions closed down over the last 30 odd years by various governments for various reasons. Not-with-standing your doubtless fine work setting up various programs in your community, in each case where one of these places was closed community programs were promised, but never materialized...which is one of the reasons there are as many troubled people on the DTES, as there are.

They were different institutions servicing people with different needs and the outcomes were different.  Maybe it all looks the same to you but that tells me you aren't looking close enough or have a closed mind. Tranquille was actually done right it is the exception and you used it as the general rule.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Bolo, as the moderator of this site, I am telling you that language which attempts to construe a social trend based on second-hand anecdotal experience and one statement from one documentary that is, in fact, undermined by the very link you provided, violates babble policy. If you can't handle that, refrain from posting on topics which touch poverty and homelessness. It has no place on this site. And it is not up for debate.

For the record, you did not say that some homeless people prefer the street life because they know it better than indoor life, or because they feel they enjoy more freedom there, as the man at your link does. It is true that some homeless people, particularly itinerant youths, frequently cite this as part of their motivations for staying on the street. I know this because I wrote an article about it and I have a friend who lived with travelling young people and is writing a book about the experience. And even though it is true that many of these young people claim this narrative, it is only one part of a cluster of forces which keep these youths on the street -- abuse, exploitation, addiction, and so on -- and is by no means the full story.

But of course, you didn't say this. You said that a "certain number" of homeless people prefer to "government handouts" and then you used this unspecified, uncited number of freeloaders to justify a long tirade about why DTES residents -- of whom you immediately displayed your ignorance -- don't deserve to live in the neighbourhood they've lived in their whole lives. Your criteria of residency rights -- which begins and ends with capital, apparently -- was the same used by White settlers and slaveowners. Your post was offensive and ignorant from beginning to end and yet you still want to cling to the vestiges of your fantasy as it lays in tatters around you.

You're welcome to do it, naturally, but not on babble, and not in this thread.

dm gillis

Photos: Hunger Strike at Pantages Condo Site & Pidgin Restaurant

http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/photo/hunger-strike-pantages-condo-site-pidgin-restauran/16871

Bolo

Catchfire wrote:

Bolo, as the moderator of this site, I am telling you that language which attempts to construe a social trend based on second-hand anecdotal experience and one statement from one documentary that is, in fact, undermined by the very link you provided, violates babble policy. If you can't handle that, refrain from posting on topics which touch poverty and homelessness. It has no place on this site. And it is not up for debate.

Terribly sorry. I had forgotten Babble has a rule against reality.

For the record, you did not say that some homeless people prefer the street life because they know it better than indoor life, or because they feel they enjoy more freedom there, as the man at your link does.

No I didn't. I merely said in some cases it was a choice...as it was in his case. You appear to be trying to put words in my writings and meaning which, while they may suite your ends, are and were not my intent.

It is true that some homeless people, particularly itinerant youths, frequently cite this as part of their motivations for staying on the street. I know this because I wrote an article about it and I have a friend who lived with travelling young people and is writing a book about the experience. And even though it is true that many of these young people claim this narrative, it is only one part of a cluster of forces which keep these youths on the street -- abuse, exploitation, addiction, and so on -- and is by no means the full story.

Informative article, but it hoists you on your own petard. The young women admits, in your quote of her, many of the people she met or is meeting are there by choice, which was, after all my point.

But of course, you didn't say this. You said that a "certain number" of homeless people prefer to "government handouts" and then you used this unspecified, uncited number of freeloaders to justify a long tirade about why DTES residents -- of whom you immediately displayed your ignorance -- don't deserve to live in the neighbourhood they've lived in their whole lives. Your criteria of residency rights -- which begins and ends with capital, apparently -- was the same used by White settlers and slaveowners. Your post was offensive and ignorant from beginning to end and yet you still want to cling to the vestiges of your fantasy as it lays in tatters around you.

Of course, you choose to completely mis-represent exactly what I said. I did say a "certain number" (or words to that effect) and as observed above, you confirmed this in your article. Furthermore I never said they don't deserve (deserve is an agitators word and one I did not use) to live there. In fact, I implied that living there is more detrimental to both their health and hope of improving their circumnstances than living elswhere might be. I said if they cannot afford to do so, they shouldn't be doing so at the expense of others. Furthermore, I'd be very surprised if very many of them "...lived there, their whole lives".

You're welcome to do it, naturally, but not on babble, and not in this thread.

6079_Smith_W

Bolo wrote:

6079. Developement there would benefit the community by providing new taxes.  Moving those folks into gentler surroundings would also be a benefit. A benefit to them which may well help many of them in their efforts to get out of the circumstances in which they fiind themselves.

How's that going to happen, given low taxes going into general revenue, not earmarked to go back into that community? Without a municipal or provincial government that actually keeps its committments it benefits absolutely no one there.

And "moving those folks"? What do you mean? The person I am speaking with elsewhere just assumes if you move food banks "those folks" will just follow like cattle with no will of their own who can be shuffled around.They aren't that at all. They are people. For that matter, I knew people who hung out on the DTES but who lived up on the Drive, up Kingsway, all over. People are going to go where their community is, and it is for them to decide what what sort of surroundings they want.

I think the intended benefit is more to those who want to see something they consider a problem moved somewhere else.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i trust with the word getting out that greater support for the dtes will come forth.

‘Homeless’ Dave begins hunger strike over Vancouver poverty

video:

In one of Canada’s poorest neighbourhoods, a former homeless man stopped eating food last Friday at noon.

He argues the housing crisis in Vancouver is intensifying and the poor are being squeezed out of the only place in the city they can call home.

He promises to remain on his hunger strike until his demands for social justice are met.

APTN National News reporter Rob Smith has this story on “Homeless” Dave.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

march 29/2013 picketing the pidgin

..according to his doctor, dave has lost 10lbs the 1st week of his hunger strike. he's hoping this rate of loss doesn't continue or he'll be down to nothing in no time.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Local news. the gentrification of Boscombe — with George Carlin at Boscombe Crescent.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Vancouver's 'Old' Chinatown: Still Here

As the city's neighbourhood 'revitalizes,' its Chinese-speaking seniors struggle for resources. First in a series.

[Editor's note: The greatest need for supportive seniors' housing among Vancouver's language minorities is for uncounted hundreds -- or thousands -- of women and men who speak only Cantonese or Mandarin. Many end up in the single-room occupancy hotels of old Chinatown. Click through the photo essay above for a tour of life in one such hotel, the May Wah. All photos by Jackie Wong, and all are used with permission.]

It's a Wednesday morning in March, and Chinatown's May Wah Hotel is a hive of activity. Up a narrow flight of stairs from the hotel's easy-to-miss street door, Vancouver Second Mile Society outreach worker Cindy Pang is surrounded by a circle of urgent seniors. They press pill bottles into her hands, their English labels and instructions unreadable. She translates into Cantonese, answering what questions she can. Everybody, it seems, knows her, likes her, and is keen for individual attention. They treat her fondly, like a family member...

http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/04/01/Chinatown-Seniors/

Top Thumb for Rosesari Rosesari in her room

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Does "Social Mix" Help Low Income People?

6:00pm Friday April 5 2013

Venue: Carnegie Theatre

Address: 401 Main St.

Cost: free

It’s Vancouver city council’s policy to have “social mix” in the Downtown Eastside.  This means more condos, higher rents in hotel rooms, upscale stores that low income people can’t afford. Does this policy actually help low income people?

Come to a public meeting to hear what an academic expert on “Social Mix” thinks.  Hear what real experts who live social mix think.

Speakers:

- Professor Loretta Lees, Cities Research Group, Geography Dept, King's College in London

- Karen Ward, socially mixed Downtown Eastside resident and artist

- Herb Varley, Nuu’chah’nulth & Nisga’a Downtown Eastside resident and activist

- Ivan Drury, Carnegie Action Project Researcher

More about Loretta Lees

Loretta Lees is Professor of Human Geography in the Cities Research Group, Department of Geography, King’s College London, UK. She is an urban geographer who works on urban regeneration/gentrification, urban policy, urban public space, architecture and urban social theory. She has published 7 books to date and is currently contracted for 3 more, including a number focused on gentrification.

Lees was awarded the 2012 Antipode Activist Scholar Award and is currently working with the London Tenants Federation, Just Space and the Southwark Notes Archive Group (SNAG) on: ‘Challenging ”the New Urban Renewal”: gathering the tools necessary to halt the social cleansing of council estates and developing community-led alternatives for sustaining existing communities’. The outcome of this will be ‘An Anti-gentrification Toolkit’.

http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/events/16834

NorthReport

Old, Alone and Victims of Racism in Downtown Eastside

Service providers call for more culturally specific services. Second in a series.

Seniors at Downtown Eastside Women's Centre

 

http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/04/02/Downtown-Eastside-Racism/

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

epaulo13 wrote:

Vancouver's 'Old' Chinatown: Still Here

As the city's neighbourhood 'revitalizes,' its Chinese-speaking seniors struggle for resources. First in a series.

[Editor's note: The greatest need for supportive seniors' housing among Vancouver's language minorities is for uncounted hundreds -- or thousands -- of women and men who speak only Cantonese or Mandarin. Many end up in the single-room occupancy hotels of old Chinatown. Click through the photo essay above for a tour of life in one such hotel, the May Wah. All photos by Jackie Wong, and all are used with permission.]

It's a Wednesday morning in March, and Chinatown's May Wah Hotel is a hive of activity. Up a narrow flight of stairs from the hotel's easy-to-miss street door, Vancouver Second Mile Society outreach worker Cindy Pang is surrounded by a circle of urgent seniors. They press pill bottles into her hands, their English labels and instructions unreadable. She translates into Cantonese, answering what questions she can. Everybody, it seems, knows her, likes her, and is keen for individual attention. They treat her fondly, like a family member...

">http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/04/01/Chinatown-Seniors/

My goodness, it sounds like there are seniors living in some of these SRO hotels who need to be in care. It's a sick, broken system that has them living, not in care, but in SRO hotels.

lagatta

Actually, I think a lot of them would prefer to be in independent (but supported) housing as long as they can. SROs are horrible, making money out of pushing poor people into a small, squalid space, but "care" is often just an antichambre to death, infantilising elderly people.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

My mother spent her last years in a tiered facility run by the Legion. She moved into a nice one bedroom apartment after my Dad died and at first took care of her own apartment and meals and as her health deteriorated the level of care increased. There was also a long term care part of the facility with the same staff that rotated through the apartment side so that when people could no longer stay on their own in an apartment they knew all their caregivers already.

The facility had common rooms on every floor and she played bridge with her friends and bingo once a week. There was even a pub across the courtyard also run by the Legion.

We have some good models we just need to build a lot more of them.

Quote:

Phase 1: one and two bedroom apartments,

Phase 2: one bedroom apartments including meals, housekeeping and laundry,

Phase 3: one bedroom and bed sitting rooms including meals, housekeeping and laundry. Supportive Housing program available to tenants meeting the criteria.

Rent geared to income available in all Phases to qualifying tenants. 

http://fourinfo.cioc.ca/record/SHA0794

 

lagatta

Yes, of course care facilities are needed; I just don't want to see people pushed into care because there aren't enough decent social housing units for seniors where they can live as independently as possible. For many people, there are other ways of ensuring support such as meals-on-wheels, support staff to help people do their housework and check on them. It is a question of allowing as much autonomy as possible.

(I'd add that I'd far sooner die before going into a nursing home, but this is a matter for another debate, and must above all never be for considerations of cost).

On another matter, why on earth aren't these seniors' prescriptions also translated into Chinese script. The writing used for the Chinese languages is scarcely rare in Vancouver!

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Lagatta the model I posted about is independent living in an apartment it is only a care home in one part of the building. It is for seniors who are 65 and older and many like my Mom and the Chinese speaking Canadian women in the article had to move when their spouses dies and the place they are living is becomes unaffordable for one person. 

Bacchus

Excellent model krop. Theres a retirement home near me that is like that as well (my mom died there after only one day but loved it)

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Fully inclusive and tons of fun!
*children welcome!

Organized and taking place on unceded and occupied Coast Salish Territory - Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueum, and S?wxwú7mesh(Squamish) nations.

PAINT PARTY AT THE OLD COP SHOP AT 312 MAIN STREET.

WE WANT 100% SOCIAL HOUSING AT THE OLD - ABANDONED - COP SHOP. (see demands)

LOCATION: 312 Main St. Vancouver.
When: Sunday, April 14, 2013
Time: 12 noon

In conjunction with the DTES Hunger Strike.

DTES Hunger Strike is about gentrification and the lack of concern by authorities: the City of Vancouver, developers, The Vancouver Police, and the general public. (as well as lying/disinforming mainstream media)

https://www.facebook.com/events/565765786787302/

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

New Action Group Targets Food Poverty

A new group dedicated to ending hunger and malnutrition hit the Vancouver streets today. More than a dozen members of the Neighbourhood Action Food Group gathered outside the BC Social Development Office on Commercial before marching to NDP MLA Jenny Kwan’s Office.

The protesters called for increases to welfare, disability, and minimum wage "as the key policy changes that could put an end to hunger and malnutrition" in BC.

Group members say that the food proportions provide inequalities to the low-income population with little dignity. "The process to distribute community foods with past expiration dates is still occurring within large food charitable groups.  This is not being practiced by upholding the Regulation of Food safety laws and policies.

"Canada is signatory to the international Human Right to Food, yet the province of British Columbia legislates housing and income measures that directly contravene this human right. According to the Dieticians of Canada, it takes over 60$ of income for an individual to purchase food for an adequate diet per week. Yet, income assistance rates amount to less than half this, disability rates don’t allow for it, and families on low-wages struggle to provide this too."

The Neighbourhood Action Food Group is calling for....

http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/photo/new-group-targets-food-poverty/17080

New Action Group Targets Food Poverty

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

DTES Hunger Strike, Day 19

(includes video)


http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/photo/dtes-hunger-strike-day-19/17079

onlinediscountanvils
Left Turn Left Turn's picture

lagatta wrote:
Yes, of course care facilities are needed; I just don't want to see people pushed into care because there aren't enough decent social housing units for seniors where they can live as independently as possible. For many people, there are other ways of ensuring support such as meals-on-wheels, support staff to help people do their housework and check on them. It is a question of allowing as much autonomy as possible.

(I'd add that I'd far sooner die before going into a nursing home, but this is a matter for another debate, and must above all never be for considerations of cost).

Lagatta, I'm all for providing the supports to allow the elderly to stay in their own homes as long as possible. But that's only part of the issue. The other issue here in BC is we have a lot of poor seniors who need subsidized care and can't get it. Because ever since changes brought in by the BC Liberals, the elderly can't get on the waitlist for subsidized care until they wind up in the hospital.

I saw what happened with my maternal Grandmother before she died. She'd been living in independent living since 2002. Was gradually getting less and less able. Had to stop taking transit in December 2005, and then had to stop taking taxis in March 2007. After that only was able to get out when my parents took her out. In March 2008 she had a fall, fractured her hip, and wound up in the hospital. Had surgery on the hip and was released from the hospital after a month. Took her until October 2008 with twice a week therapy to get back to being able to do stairs. Developed pneumonia during the stay in the hospital that did subsequently improve but never went away completely.

The only reason she was able to go back to her assisted living apartment after the hip surgery, rather than going into care, was because she could afford to pay for private home care that came five mornings a week. Eventually though, she was no longer able to afford five days a week care, so she had to cut it back to two days a week, even though she still needed five days a week. At that point, with no funding available for the home care she needed, she needed to go on the wait list for subsidized care. But no, she couldn't get on that list until March 2009 when the pneumonia worsened and she wound up back in the hospital.

The pneumonia stabilized after a week in the hospital, but she spent another three weeks in the hospital before she got into care, and even then because we convinced her to pay privately to get into care, which meant having no disposable income left after what it cost her for the care. During the time she was in the hospital she had no idea how long she was going to have to wait there, she had little apetite, lost a lot of weight, and we thought she was going to die on us in the hospital. Once she got into care, in the care home side of the same facility where she'd had her independent living apartment,  her mood and apetite and weight improved. She continued to do well until Christmas of 2010, after which she went quickly downhill and died from the pneumonia a month later.

Point being that had she been able to get on the weight list for care once it became obvious the home support she could afford was not adequate, she may well have avoided the second trip to the hospital. And it's that which I'd like to avoid for these women in the dtes and others, the worse indignity of having to wait in the hospital for a care bed to open up, not knowing if you will live to see a care bed or if you will die in the hospital.

onlinediscountanvils

Spartacus Books has been given an eviction notice for July 31.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Their landlord doubled their rent from $1200 to $2400. Rhizome announced they were closing last week too.

I guess there's always Chapters and White Spot if we need a book and a good burger.

onlinediscountanvils

Damn. I didn't know that about Rhizome.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

My theory is that the powers-that-be have been reading rabble.ca's own Tania Ehret, blogger and contributing editor, and using her articles as a radical space hitlst.

The People's Co-Op Bookstore or the Purple Thistle are even money to be next.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Vision’s VPD fails to silence dissent

On Monday, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson confirmed his support of the criminalization of dissent. Following the Vancouver Police Department’s recent threat of arrests against peaceful protesters, Robertson stated: “I support the Vancouver Police Department’s prudent steps to ensure that the right to protest is balanced against the right of all residents and businesses to peaceful enjoyment of public and private spaces.”

The Police Department’s “prudent steps” include the publication of a blanket letter warning the public that they may be arrested on criminal charges for “shouting, screaming, or swearing”; VPD Spokesperson Brian Montague’s April 17th announcement that the VPD were “anticipating an arrest” of an unnamed individual on unspecified charges “related to the PiDGiN protest”; armed officers’ surveillance of the PiDGiN pickets, five nights a week; visits to protesters’ homes and workplaces; and the constant monitoring of “all the protests that go on in the City of Vancouver.”...

http://themainlander.com/2013/04/26/visions-vpd-fails-to-silence-dissent/

......

City and VPD move to arrest PiDGiN picketers, residents bring opposition

After ten steady weeks of nightly protests by anti-poverty activists in front of the PiDGiN restaurant in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, police have stated that they plan to arrest picketers. In a press conference delivered yesterday, Vancouver Police Department spokesperson Brian Montague stated that his department is “anticipating an arrest soon.”

A letter issued yesterday by the VPD states that PiDGiN picketers can now be arrested for “shouting, screaming, or swearing.” The statement cites section 430(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada, which means that the VDP is seeking to label the protest a criminal action. An associated VPD release states that the police are issuing the arrest order to prevent Vancouverites from being “denied the lawful use and enjoyment of property.”....

http://themainlander.com/2013/04/18/city-and-vpd-move-to-arrest-pidgin-p...

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