Monday, March 30, 2009

BC Homelessness

Homelessness in BC is in the news... must be an election looming...

The BC Liberals have decided to arbitrarily change the definition of “homeless”. They are doing this without so much as a “by your leave” with anyone, especially those with a vested interested in providing assistance to the homeless.


The election of course.

So they can bandy about numbers to support their blatant inaction in dealing with the issue of homelessness. Inaction, except in changing the name of course.

The Ministry of Housing & Social Development, has now issued their definition of homeless.

Couch-surfing is no longer part of the definition.

Sleeping in a doorway is no longer part of the definition, unless you have been there for more than 30 days.

Next, will they be changing the definition of 30 days? Will it be consecutive days? What about weekends?

If you are homeless for 30+days, will a stint on a friend’s couch for a weekend mean that you are not homeless any more?

Transition houses, houses without adequate or running water and no heat, second stage housing in shelters are all considered “housing”. So those living in these circumstances are now “housed”.


Shacks and lean-to’s?

Looks like they mean you are now "housed" and not "homeless".

Here is a good article about this specific issue:

Also, on April 19, Pivot Legal Society and SFU are jointly presenting a day long film review and discussion about homelessness ($3 -$5) Doors open @ 11:30 a.m., SFU Harbour Centre (see poster here:

Here is the Ministry directive (have a look, it will likely disappear in the next week or so):