Update (09/29/21): the city has accepted our request! Please see the attached official proclamation.
The Richmond Poverty Reduction Coalition has submitted a formal request to the City of Richmond to declare Oct. 10 to 16 as “Homeless Action Week.”
According the last Richmond Homeless Count conducted in 2020, there were 85 homeless individuals found — Richmond outreach workers believe the actual number to be closer to 200 — representing a 21 per cent increase since the last count conducted in 2017. This is a noticeable trend affecting other Metro Vancouver communities as well. ‘
While there is currently good work being done by the city, eliminating homelessness requires the understanding of people’s complex needs, as well as supporting resources that allow residents to be housed and live complete and valued lives.
Below is a suggested declaration drafted by the RPRC.
DECLARATION OF HOMELESSNESS ACTION WEEK
OCTOBER 10-16, 2021
WHEREAS homelessness impacts people in every part of British Columbia, and swift action is needed to address the root causes of homelessness and to help those without homes, and
WHEREAS the City of Richmond has engaged in a Poverty Reduction project that will explore and develop policies and investments designed to break the cycle of poverty including issues around precarious housing and homelessness, and
WHEREAS the City of Richmond will develop a housing action plan with coordinated access to move beyond reactive emergency responses to homelessness towards a coordinated, effective approach that prevents people from becoming homeless in the first place, and
WHEREAS the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid overdose crisis and rising awareness of systemic racism, in addition to homelessness, have highlighted the need to address the disproportionate impacts these issues have on disadvantaged and marginalized communities, and
WHEREAS effective action to reduce homelessness and promote social inclusion requires all levels of government to work with individuals, non-profit organizations, Indigenous and community groups, and private sector representatives to find solutions that will bring down barriers that hold people back, deliver supports that lift people up, and make the City of Richmond better and more inclusive for everyone;
We now proclaim and declare that October 10-16, 2021, shall be known as “Homelessness Action Week.”