Canada is the only G8 country without a national housing strategy. Pivot's Abbotsford housing clients are calling on our federal government to end homelessness. They've invited all federal MPs to meet with them, hear their stories, and develop a national housing strategy that is informed by the experiences of homeless and vulnerably housed Canadians.
Join Pivot's Abbotsford housing clients and tell our federal representatives that we can end homelessness.
Re: Hearing the voices of homeless people
We write to you on behalf of a group of people who have been or are currently homeless. Many of us have slept on the streets, in shelters, and in unsafe and inadequate housing.
We are members of the Abbotsford chapter of the British Columbia/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors, an organization that is run by and for people who use or have used unauthorized drugs. Our mission is to improve the lives of people who use unauthorized drugs through user-based peer support and education. Our advocacy includes promoting access to safe housing options for our members and protecting the safety and dignity of our members if and when they may be forced to live on the streets.
We have been involved in several legal actions to ensure that our members who have experienced homelessness and others in our homeless community have their rights recognized and protected. We have filed a human rights complaint against the City of Abbotsford for their actions against their homeless population and are challenging the constitutionality of several of the City’s bylaws that effectively make being homeless a crime. Our case will be heard by the BC Supreme Court beginning on June 29, 2015.
We are extremely concerned that the voices and experiences of our most vulnerable citizens are not being heard by our federal representatives. With a federal election approaching, we strongly believe that it is time for Canada to commit to a national housing strategy that is informed by the needs and experiences of people on the street. We are the only G8 country without such a strategy.
We believe in the credo “nothing about us without us.” It is in that spirit that we invite you, and all members of the House of Commons, to meet with us, tour our city, and learn how our national housing crisis is impacting people. We are certain that when you witness the conditions created by the absence of a national housing strategy and hear directly about our needs and vision for social change, you will truly understand the best way forward for Canada.
We look forward to hosting your visit. To let us know when you are able to meet with us, please contact DWS.Abbotsford@gmail.com.
British Columbia/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors