Take back the streets - for the people who need it most right now.
Additional space is desperately needed around Vancouver to facilitate physical distancing. More so than ever, we need wider sidewalks, fewer lanes of traffic - and in some streets - no traffic at all. The Downtown Eastside, the epicentre of homelessness and poverty in our city, feels this most strongly. To stop COVID-19 from spreading, we need road and lane closures in the DTES. We need it to be peer-managed, and done in consultation with service-providers who know this community best.
Please send this letter to the City of Vancouver - it will go directly to the Mayor and 10 councillors.
We know that more public space isn't the only answer to helping our city's most vulnerable - housing for the homeless is crucial right now. We encourage you to also participate in COPE's letter writing campaign to the BC Government asking for hotel rooms for the homeless.
This campaign and the letter below is a result of collaboration and consultation with several DTES service-providers. We'd especially like to thank Fiona York of the Carnegie Community Action Project for helping us make so many connections.
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