Hastings Tent City #StopTheSweeps Pledge

Call to Action: Candidates for Mayor, Council, School and Parks Board should sign the #StopTheSweeps Supporter Pledge, and commit to taking a human-rights based approach to encampments in the City of Vancouver.

Support Hastings Tent City

I support the right of people to shelter in place, 24 hours a day.

I support an end to evicting people who live outside from their homes.

I support a human rights approach to tent cities as outlined in the National Protocol for Homeless Encampments in Canada.

In accepting this pledge, I support the following demands for the City of Vancouver:

  • Reversal of the July 26th Fire Order calling for all tents to be removed from Hastings Street;
  • An end to the decampment of tent cities, whether through force or rebranded as “voluntary”;
  • An end to City of Vancouver and Park Board by-laws that criminalize poverty and force people to take down their homes during the day;
  • Supporting the City of Vancouver in adopting the National Protocol for Homeless Encampments in Canada for working with tent cities and people who live outside;
  • The creation of livable, dignified housing rented at welfare and shelter-rates on a permanent basis for the City’s poor and working residents; 
  • The permanent City provision of adequate hygienic facilities for current and future tent cities – such as 24-hour, peer-staffed bathroom and shower trailers;
  • City accountability and redress for the unlivable conditions of SROs and supportive housing in the Downtown Eastside – as long as the City continues to allow providers to violate health and safety codes, residents will exercise their right to refuse unsafe housing.
We understand that there can be limitations to where people shelter; however, until the above demands are met, we as housed residents of Vancouver must stand in solidarity with the victims of an unjust housing system. The City of Vancouver’s anti-poor, anti-homeless by-laws and practices place unhoused people’s lives in a legal gray area enforced at  the daily discretion of engineering workers, park rangers, and police. The City’s current approach to decampment violates the human rights of people living outside.
Policies that coerce and force people into unsuitable housing will not bring an end to tent cities. Many people sheltering outside do so because their housing is unlivable and unsafe. As a signee of this letter, I do not support pro-decampment policies that ultimately further entrench tent cities. Instead, I support policies that  uplift and protect people while they survive and fight for dignified housing.
The only real solutions to ending tent cities are housing and compassion, not policing and punishment. Only when we stop discriminating against people living outside–when we stop treating them like second-class citizens or as a ‘problem’ to be dealt with by police–can we bring an end to people being forced to live in tent cities.

Take the Pledge to #StopTheSweeps