Immediate Release: Feb 7, 2010

Today, COPE City Councillor Ellen Woodsworth started her week of the 2010 homelessness hunger strike, kicking off with the “wooden spoon” pass at Pigeon Park. The hunger strikes calls for the re-establishment of a National Housing Program. (For more information on the hunger strike, see the attached backgrounder or

According to Woodsworth, “The City has been proactive on dealing with homelessness, but the temporary HEAT shelters are just that – temporary. They close on April 30. To truly solve homelessness, we need to get other levels of government on board. Canada is the only G8 country without a national housing program.”

Woodsworth continues, “solving homelessness isn’t like curing cancer – we already
know how to do it. It’s just a matter of political will – building homes and putting supports in them so people are successful. In fact, it’s cheaper to house people than to leave them on the street with associated policing and health costs.”

Councillor Woodsworth will be spending time in different areas of the city to talk to people
about the hidden costs of homelessness.  She will be handing out Valentines Day cards and encouraging people to send them to their MP’s or the Prime Minister to ask them to support Bill C04 – MP Libby Davies’ bill to start a national housing program. A facebook group has just been created at!/event.php?eid=299608881002&ref=mf.

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Councillor Woodsworth’s schedule

Sunday, Feb  7 (11am): spoon exchange at Pigeon Park  then the “Poverty Olympics” at the Japanese Hall (487 Alexander St)

Monday, Feb
8 (11am-2pm): stationed at Trade and Convention Centre with "Walk for Justice" sisters

Tuesday, Feb 9 (11am-2pm): walk about in West End (meet at Davie and Thurlow)

Wednesday, Feb 10 (4pm-6pm): stationed at Broadway and Commercial 

Thursday, Feb 11 (11am-2pm): Hastings St at Woodwards

Friday, Feb 12 (11am-2pm) stationed at Robson Square

Saturday (9:30am):  Peace Walk and Meditation (meet at 33rd Ave and Cambie)  and going on to Little Mountain Housing Project 

Sunday (9:00am): Lunar New Year Parade and Carnegie Community Centre Memorial March for the Missing Women of DTES

Councillor Woodsworth starts hunger strike — have a heart for housing!

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