Over twenty tenants living in Vancouver’s West End neighborhood filled a small community space on the evening of June 19th, 2023. Attendees included a large number of seniors, some having resided in the neighborhood for more than three decades, alongside younger newcomers to the area.
We call on the Mayor, Council, and city staff to stop the decampment of Hastings and to instead redirect public resources to creating, maintaining, and preserving the affordability of dignified, non-carceral forms of permanent housing for encampment residents.
The mood in the building was palpable, as tenants woke up in a new world they had helped create. PHS released a statement saying that a broken wire was found and replaced by sheer coincidence, but it was clear that the tenants had forced PHS’s hand, and everyone knew it.
This is about context. And in the current context where there is no housing for unhoused people, calls to clean up the streets mean violence – displacement, dispossession, banishment, death.