2 days ago, Kate and I met down at RainCity's Housing to deliver all the wonderful socks to them amazing people at the shelter to be distributed to the homeless and anyone who needs them. While we did not get as many socks as last year, it was still 4 boxes full!
On behalf of Working Gear Clothing Society, thank you very much for your support in the recent VanCity ChangeEverything contest. The prize money will directly support our initiatives. Thanks and best wishes to the other organizations that were involved and thanks to VanCity for supporting this positive and innovative competition.
Thanks to the person who blogs here about not being a 'sidewalk observer' but being involved in what you see around you, I've been more active in a number of areas. This morning I awoke to particularly peculiar vocalizations outside. An overweight woman was either doing the funky chicken or off her meds, and was writhing around on the sidewalk. She'd pull her pants half way down then up, and her arms were flailing about. Clearly she was not in her right mind, and while not in distress per se, was rather miserable.
OK - one way to move towards my "change everything" goal of integrating those of us with money with those of us without, is for as many of both groups to know some of the basic resources available. Here is a partial list:
Like all vancouverites, I woke this past week to snow-covered roofs and treetops. Delightful!
On my way to work I saw a person scrunched up under a thin blanket in the doorway. I couldn't distinguish if it was a man or woman. People asleep outdoors is common place in my neighbourhood, but given it had been below freezing all night it caught my attention.
As gastown evolves, we could model how those of us with money and homes can integrate with the marginalized in a way that is respectful, humane and does not prejudice people who are homeless and addicted.
In the spirit of letting people know how I'm doing on my change, I thought I'd report that I finished and sent off my letter to the PM. You can send a form letter or your own letter at www.communityinsite.ca if you want to help. Here's mine:
Dear Prime Minister,
I am writing to urge you to keep Vancouver's Supervised Injection Site open. By now, I am sure you have received many letters from people in the community who support the site. I know you have seen the scientific research showing that Insite saves lives, reduces infections, and helps addicts to access detox and treatment.
I would like to be transparent about my own biases toward Insite. I am a community health nurse who has worked in the downtown east side for many years, including two years which I spent working at the Supervised Injection Site. I'm still a casual employee there and pick up shifts once in a while. So it's not like I'm a completely disinterested party.
However, my concern is not about keeeping a job. What I'm most worried about is seeing such a terrific, innovative, successful service bite the dust. From my (quite personal) perspective, here are the top 3 reasons to keep Insite open: