Mattress Vancouver

Simmons Mattress Gallery's Blog

Community Concern

The City of Vancouver was hit by a disturbing statistic this month, when figures were released showing a 249-per-cent increase in unsheltered homelessness from figures produced in 2011.

The increase from 2011 took a huge spike this past year when numbers rose from 273 to over 500 individuals living on Vancouver’s streets.

Despite increased efforts by the provincial and municipal governments, more and more people in Vancouver are being denied the simple human right for shelter.

Even as Vancouver enjoys successive years as one of the world’s most ‘Livable Cities,’ the poor are sleeping without a mattress, exposed to the elements.

For our city to truly advance, we must increase the care offered to our most vulnerable citizens. Only then can we sit back and enjoy our laurels.

Here are three ways ordinary Vancouverites can help tackle homelessness:

1. Volunteer at a Shelter

Many homeless choose the streets over shelters because of the conditions of social housing. Volunteers are needed to help raise the standards of living at shelters across the Lower Mainland. To find a shelter that needs volunteers in your area, visit the Greater Vancouver Shelter Strategy website.

2. Financial Assistance

The Lookout Emergency Aid Society offers programs for Vancouver citizens to subsidize rent costs for the homeless. Their packages range from $75 to $300 per month. These programs help house individuals who are looking to move out of the Downtown Eastside.

3. Express Your Opinions

Inform your MLA that this is a problem that concerns everyone living in Vancouver, not just the people living without a home. A minimum wage increase and additional social housing projects are two of the ways the government can help. They need to be reminded that the public is behind these initiatives.

Pushing Pride in Sochi

Tim Stevenson will be flying to Sochi in less than a month. He has been named deputy mayor for the trip, the official representative from the City of Vancouver.

Why is this newsworthy? Tim Stevenson is an openly gay city councilor.

Apart from representing the previous host city of the Winter Olympics, Stevenson will be lobbying for a change in the Olympic Charter to include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination clause. This will allow greater opportunities for openly gay athletes, especially in countries that outlaw homosexual activity.

Also on Stevenson’s agenda, encouraging the Olympic committee to include Pride Houses in future games, a tradition that was started in Vancouver in 2010 and repeated in London, during the 2012 Summer Olympics. Pride Houses provide safe locations for athletes and coaches who identify as LGBTQ to meet and socialize. Sochi has not sanctioned the establishment of Pride Houses.

In fact, Russia has established a number of ant-gay laws that discourage open displays of affection among homosexual individuals and make it unlawful to spread “gay propaganda.” Basically, the laws make it legal for police to give out fines for public displays of affection amongst homosexuals. These laws have been attacked by human rights organizations around the globe.

The hope is that Stevenson’s efforts will be able to illicit policy change; so future Olympic participants can compete in an environment free of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Reducing Landfill Waste; One Mattress At A Time

In the City’s continuing effort to reduce landfill waste, a new surcharge will be laid on any mattress being discarded at the Delta landfill. The charge is $20 per bed.

Mattresses will no longer be considered general garbage at all Vancouver Transfer Stations and landfill sites. There will now be a limit on the number of mattresses that one customer can drop at a time. The mattresses will also be left in a separate area from the regular waste. These limitations were put in effect on January 1st.

Simmons Mattress Gallery would like to applaud the city for implementing these measures.  Mattresses are almost 100 percent recyclable or compostable and make up a significant portion of the waste dumped in our local landfills.

If you have just purchased a brand new Simmons and are looking for an ethical way to dispose of your old mattress, contact Mattressrecycling.ca. They are the first and largest mattress recycler operating in British Columbia. The price for a mattress drop-off is $14. The warehouse is located at 7885 North Fraser Way. If you would like your mattress picked-up, Mattressrecycling.ca charges $55.

Breaking Down Your Bed

For more information of mattress recycling visit metrovancouver.org.

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