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Ellen Woodsworth joins Homelessness Hunger Strike Relay

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What is the 2010 Hunger Strike Relay?

Each week new volunteers take on the Wooden Spoon and participate in a week long fast for seven days. The hunger strike will continue past the 2010 Olympics to June 2010.

We are calling for the re-establishment of a National Housing Program based on the One Percent Solution in Canada.

Why is Vancouver Councillor Ellen Woodsworth participating in the 2010 hunger strike relay?

The City has been proactive on dealing with homelessness, but the temporary HEAT shelters are just that -- temporary. They close on April 30. To truly solve homelessness, we need to get other levels of government on board. Canada is the only G8 country without a national housing strategy. The cost of keeping people off the street is significantly cheaper than the medical and other associated costs of leaving them on the streets -- the hunger strike is another way to bring attention to our need for a national housing program. Solving homelessness isn't as complicated as curing cancer -- it's a matter of political will. We need to build homes and put supports in them so people are successful.

Some stats:

• Canada's homeless population is somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 people and 1.7 million residents across the country struggle with housing affordability issues.
• There are between 10,500 and 15,000 homeless people in British Columbia.
• The 2008 homelessness count identified 2,660 people who were homeless in the Metro Vancouver region.
• Homelessness has more than doubled since the Olympics were awarded to Vancouver.
• Roughly half of all Canadians live in fear of poverty, and 49 per cent polled believe they might be poverty stricken if they missed one or two pay cheques.
• 45% of homeless women in Metro Vancouver are aboriginal.

Have a heart for housing!

Ellen is encouraging people to take a Valentine's Day card and send it to their MP's or the Prime Minister! Tell them to support Bill C04 - MP Libby Davies' bill to start a national housing program. Have a heart for housing!

To see video of the torch handover click here.

Have a heart for housing -- send Harper a Valentines Day card. Click here to learn how.

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