Vancouver Homelessness Awareness Week October 16-22

Homelessness Awareness Week October 16-22, 2006It’s Homelessness Awareness Week in Vancouver, British Columbia this week. And they’re doing a great job of promoting it on the web, in print, and on the street.

In fact, as I was walking into my Gastown office this morning their were numerous homelessness awareness promoters on the street and in the back alley behind the building. They were a little rough around the edges, but they were definitely committed to their cause – I was aware, as I am daily, that there are too many people without homes in Vancouver.

From Stophomelessness.ca:

Through Homelessness Awareness Week people living in the Greater Vancouver area are invited to learn more about what is causing homelessness; how homelessness affects the health of individuals and society at large; and why working together is the only way we will solve the crisis of homelessness in our community.

There are a number of events throughout the Lower Mainland this week supporting Homelessness Awareness.

You can find a full list of regional Homelessness Awareness Events at the StopHomelessness website.

The GVRD website also has some info about homelessness in the Greater Vancouver Regional District.

I don’t know an awful lot about the causes of homelessness, but I’m guessing it has to do with a lack of care options for the mentally ill, exorbitant housing prices, rampant drug addiction, and our mild climate.

How can we make things better?

What should we, as a city/province/country, do to make things better?

I think building awareness is a good start. Read some articles, become aware.

It certainly sounds like the Mayor is becoming aware (from News 1130AM):

Visitors to our city have labelled Vancouver’s homeless as the greatest danger to watch out for on virtualtourist.com, a website seen by travellers around the world. Mayor Sam Sullivan says Vancouver’s profile on the site raises some concerns. “It gives a very strong message to council, that if that’s the kind of message that’s getting out around the world, we absolutely must act on this.” Sullivan has introduced a few solutions in council with this being Homelessness Awareness Week.

What do you think?