PIVOT’s Homelessness is Over! Campaign

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Vancouver Ends Homelessness!

City’s last homeless person moves into social housing

November 24, 2009 – For Immediate Release

Vancouver’s housing crisis is finally over. Today Ray Solda, Vancouver’s

last homeless person, moved into his room in the Kansas Hotel, a new social

housing building funded by the provincial government. Government officials

and Canadians everywhere today are celebrating the end of homelessness in

Vancouver, a city that has struggled with a homelessness crisis for years.

Today’s announcement is the result of a number of key investments made by

the provincial government to build social and supportive housing as part of

their visionary comprehensive housing strategy. Despite the up-front costs,

government and experts alike are confident that ending homelessness in

Vancouver will actually save money over the long term.

“The years of spiralling rates of homelessness, derelict hotels,

over-crowded shelters and laws punishing those without a safe place to live

are going to be remembered as a dark page in this province’s history” says

Laura Track, Pivot’s housing campaigner. “But the way this government

changed course and resolved the crisis is a testament to what is possible

when governments show real leadership and determination to make positive

social change.”

Already, Vancouver is being held up as model for the rest of the country.

Governments around the world are looking to the province for guidance in

addressing homelessness in their jurisdictions.

When asked what role she felt advocacy work had in ending homelessness,

Track commented: “This accomplishment is the result of people coming

together and saying they would not settle for anything less than an end to

homelessness. It took everyday people saying yes, I will welcome social

housing into my neighbourhood and taxpayers recognizing that it makes

financial sense to tackle homelessness. Finally, it took governments hearing

the call and making the decision to act.”

Laura Track

Housing Campaign Lawyer

Pivot Legal Society and Pivot Legal LLP