Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Poverty, homelessness and Vancouver covered in snow

I was just browsing through blogs and the Vancouver Sun picture gallery and found some really nice pictures. But the snow also makes me reflect on those poor people who are homeless and who are unable to sleep under a warm and dry roof. I have never in my life experienced sleeping on the streets, although the third time I moved to Vancouver I almost had to sleep in the car I had rented.

All this makes me think that, while some people may see the snow as a happy (and strange) occurrence in Vancouver, others lives are threatened by it. Vancouver does not have enough capacity (in terms of beds) to provide shelter to every homeless person out there. And yet we seem to be so happy that it's snowing because it is pretty. I am sorry, but I am not happy. If faced with the choice between snow and hot weather, I'm happier with hot weather. At least, homeless people can sleep on the street then!

All this comes back to the heated discussion on whether Vancouver has a progressive affordable housing policy. I won't comment on that. I will just ask Vancouver councillors and the Mayor to roam around in this weather without enough winter clothing... *then* they will maybe understand how does it feel for the vulnerable and disenfranchised...

My two cents, even if gloomy.

PS - I found this cute picture... downloaded it from the Vancouver Sun website, so I am guessing it was provided by a Vancouver resident. If you are the owner of the picture, let me know and I'll credit you!

1 comment:

Caro said...

the homeless in this weather is a touchy topic and a sad one too. What I find curious is that many of the homeless choose to stay outdoors. The following day of the big storm I watched a bit of news where they were interviewing a guy from Salvation Army and he was showing rows and rows of available thin mattresses indoors and their shelter was EMPTY... I mean... i don't get it. Foamy or no foamy I rather be indoors than freezing outside.... go figure!