Strathcona Residents Against Tax Evasion in Support of KT Camp
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The KT camp at Strathcona Park has created a challenge for the community of Strathcona. A part of the Downtown East Side and a traditionally low-income neighbourhood, Strathcona has experienced rapid gentrification within the past 10 years. During this time period the neighbourhood has shifted, while many original residents remain, a new population of home owning young families, urban professionals, and white-collar workers have increasingly begun to reside here. With the average price of a detached house well above $1million today, this population has benefitted greatly from Strathcona’s “revitalization”.
Through persecution and forced relocations, the residents at KT camp have been cornered into this location by the City of Vancouver, The VPD, The Port Authority, and the Federal Government. Though Strathcona residents have always had to deal with homeless populations of varying degrees, never has it been so prominent as in the case of the KT camp. While inconvenient for some, this positioning has the potential to cause real change through its visual impact.
To be clear: Nobody chooses to be homeless.
In support of KT camp we stand for the following principles:
1) The KT CAMP LIST OF DEMANDS: permanent housing for all, an end to the cycle of displacement, and repatriation of unceded Indigenous land.
2) As owners of homes that are worth millions of dollars, Strathcona homeowners must commit to paying their property taxes. In the climate of a global pandemic, the wealthy must do their duty and redistribute their income.
3) That ownership of private property does not entitle one to dictate what occurs on unceded public land. The inconvenience of not being able to use Strathcona Park’s facilities does not trump one’s right to having a home.
4) That we must stop playing whack-a-mole with Vancouver’s homeless population. The KT camp at Strathcona Park should remain until the point that a real and adequate shelter or housing alternative is provided to its residents. Housing waitlists will not suffice.
5) We support our neighbours and community and respect their concerns and fears around this situation. While the KT camp remains, we advocate for an increased parks staff presence and regular cleanup of Strathcona Park by the City of Vancouver, as well as an increase to mental health supports within the neighbourhood.
6) As citizens that want a genuine solution to Vancouver’s homelessness problem, we support political parties and groups that put this issue at the top of their platform. Homelessness in Vancouver is a Canadian problem that should be addressed by all 3 levels of government.
There are no quick and easy solutions. Tent Cities have been a reality in Vancouver for over 25 years. This is an intensely complex situation fuelled by our inaction as citizens, a history of mistreatment of indigenous peoples, and neglect towards people’s mental health and addictions across Canada and BC. Therefore, solutions are multifaceted and must come from many different directions. This won’t happen overnight. To start, we have to put the right people in power.
Political Parties to Support:
We can also effect positive change in a direct manner by engaging with the Non-Profit organizations that are deeply invested in this cause. Donate, Volunteer, and spread the word. Find an organization that resonates with you and get involved.
Neighbourhood Services to Support:
DTES Resource Guides:
HOW TO DIRECTLY SUPPORT KT CAMP:
Clear Garbage Bags
This list will continue to be updated as this petition continues. Please feel free to share your own suggestions, links, etc. It would be great if this petition could become a place for dialogue around this topic.
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