International Women’s Day is Good News

Good news! It’s the 101st International Women’s Day, and there are many ways to celebrate. You can attend the City of Vancouver’s Remarkable Women event this evening, or the Women in Film Festival that starts today, and many others.

Bad news – last week the Metro Vancouver Homelessness Count released their final numbers, and while the overall numbers didn’t change, the female share of the homeless population increased. In the 2005 count, one in four counted was female but in 2011 it was nearly one in three. And the number of homeless families counted increased; 56 homeless families with 54 children were found, the highest number of families ever recorded in a Count, the majority of these families led by single mothers.

Good news! In only a few short months we’ll be breaking ground for our newest and biggest building, the Budzey Building (named after Lorna Budzey). 147 units! And the best part? All the units are for women! 101 units will be studio suites for women on their own, and 46 units will be two and three bedroom units for single mother led families. We’re really excited about this, as both the building and the women and families living there will have a positively huge (and hugely positive) impact on the Downtown Eastside.

What good news will you celebrate on International Women’s Day?

 

4 Responses to “International Women’s Day is Good News”

  1. bill says:

    Eleanor, it’s awful that that is taking place in Massachusetts. We don’t do any drug testing at RainCity Housing, as we work with a harm reduction model, and some of our tenants actively use substances, but are reducing the level of use and gradually getting better.

  2. bill says:

    You’re right – it’s so important to keep kids with at least one parent. Are you aware of other ways for homeless families to avoid sleeping on the streets? Please share them with us if you do.

  3. For most people not facing homelessness, envisioning any of these situations is difficult; but for many homeless families, these are ways to avoid sleeping on the streets or separating.

  4. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE SOMEONE to say to you, “Come with me into the bathroom? I want to watch you pee into this paper cup to see if you have been taking drugs.” That is what is happening in some shelters for homeless families in Massachusetts. Steve Valero, a lawyer at Greater Boston Legal Services, is indignant about this and has been telling shelters that it is an illegal practice. Some shelter directors claim they had no idea it was illegal. They thought it would be better to have all residents tested for drugs rather than singling out one person.