End Homelessness Now

End Homelessness Now

December 06, 2010 13:21 ET

First United Literally Places the Issue of Homelessness in the Path of Vancouverites

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 6, 2010) - Stark, hollow forms representing people who were once homeless will provocatively confront Vancouverites in the downtown core.

This stop-you-in-your-tracks ambient display challenges the imagination of Vancouverites to think differently about the homeless issue. Three different body sculptures in familiar poses of homeless people, constructed and placed by communications agency DDB Canada, will appear at three different locations in the downtown core. The reactions of passers-by will help facilitate a broader ongoing conversation about how we view and respond to people who are homeless. Outside the Art Gallery on West Georgia Street people who were previously homeless will be available to answer questions and talk about how others can help to make a difference.

"It will be interesting to see what the reactions of ordinary citizens tell us about ourselves as a City," says Ric Matthews, Executive Minister at First United. "We hope the conversation that this initiates will help us all deepen our understanding of the underlying factors that lead to homelessness."

Passers-by are encouraged to visit the Facebook profiles of Jody, Steve and Gordon to learn more about their true stories of getting off the street.

First United is working in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside alongside many other organisations to enable people to step out of homelessness by addressing issues that caused the predicament. It is a community that includes residents of the Downtown Eastside and those from the wider society working side-by-side to build inclusive community and to address the practical needs of homeless people. First United Church (at Hastings & Gore) is 'home' to 350 people. The community values diversity and individual difference and is committed to stand with those who live on the margins of society.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 8th 2010, 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  Press Conference will take place outside the Art Gallery on Georgia Street at 9:45 am
   
WHERE: 1) Outside the Art Gallery (West Georgia Street)
  2) On Granville and Georgia between Skytrain stations
  3) Waterfront Station (Main Terminal Cordova and Seymour)
   
WHY: In 2010 Vancouver's Homeless Count showed 1762 people who are homeless. First United would like to draw
  attention to this issue and raise awareness of the needs of the homeless.

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