Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Revelstoke Day One -- March 18, 2008

Tonight we met with a terrific grass roots Revelstoke organisation called Renters' Voice. It brings together people who are homeless, people who are at immediate risk of being homeless and community supporters. A number of those present shared stories about their situations.

One woman is facing eviction, has a child who is very ill and has been searching for appropriate accomodation for nine months but can't find anything. She describes herself as being on edge and desperate.

A man told us about being homeless. He has somewhere to stay only because a generous friend allows him to sleep in the basement near her furnace and water heater. She also provides him with support in stabilizing his health issues. He fears he will be forced to move to a small rural town without the medical and social supports he needs. He said he found a place to live today, only he'll have to learn to live without eating because the rent is so high.

A couple reported that their manufactured home park (trailer park) is facing mass eviction because it has been sold and there are plans to build condos. They cannot move their trailer and are worried they will be homeless.

Another woman has been threatened with eviction numerous times and has gone to arbitration under the Residential Tenancy Act four times. So far she has been successful in keeping her apartment but she worries she may have to leave.

All of this is happening in the context of a town with virtually no vacancy rate and a high end construction boom. This fits the pattern of many communities we have visited. When real estate prices dramatically escalate, homelessness results.

We want to thank the courageous people who took the time to tell us their stories tonight.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Was a pleasure to meet David but a really unpleasant learning experience to hear that over ten thousand BC people are already homeless!

I hope we will not have to wait until David returns to see the movie that is being put together -is it possible that it could be distributed on DVDs?