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.

“Heart of the City”

Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is an area of the city that many of us choose to avoid. The poverty level scares us, the open drug market makes us nervous and the prostitution reminds us of the dangerous hold of addiction. So we divert our travel routes, choose alternative venues and leave the issues for the community to deal with on their own. It’s a coping mechanism that most of us subscribe to.

One thing we can’t forget, even if we choose to turn our backs, is that the DES is full of people. People who have a past, present and future. People who value the community they live in. People who are artistic, creative and passionate.

As a part of Vancouver’s 125th Anniversary Celebration, the DES community will be celebrating the ‘Heart of the City Festival.’ The festival will showcase the talents of many of the area’s current citizens, as well as document some of the rich stories from the neighbourhood’s past.

Events are running all week. For more details check the festival website:

http://www.heartofthecityfestival.com/

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