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Homeless Facts

In the 2008 Homeless Count there were AT LEAST 3,062 people homeless in Metro Vancouver.

Since 2002,there has been a shocking 137% increase in overall homelessness and a 373% increase in the number of people sleeping outside. /.

Faith Leaders push for a public forum prior to leadership conventions

Vancouver Interfaith Leaders Call on Provincial Leadership Candidates to Address Homelessness

Faith Leaders push for a public forum prior to leadership conventions

February 3,2011 —The Vancouver Interfaith Alliance to End Homelessness is calling on Provincial leadership candidates from the BC NDP and the BC Liberal Party to declare a commitment to end homelessness in BC by 2015.

A letter delivered today invites all leadership candidates to respond and make their positions clear. The candidates’ responses will be made public next week.

The letter also invites the candidates to participate in a community forum on homelessness and affordable housing,to be organized by the Interfaith Alliance. It also asks all candidates to press the federal government on a national housing strategy.

“There are still thousands of homeless people in British Columbia. Ending their plight is a critical issue that needs to be addressed by all three levels of government and the next premier of British Columbia must make this a priority,”said Interfaith Alliance representative,Reverend Ric Matthews of First United Church. “Over 350 jurisdictions in North America have committed to ending homelessness and it is time that the Provincial government publicly makes the same commitment.”

“As faith leaders we share a common concern for the most vulnerable people living on our streets,”said Haroon Khan of Jamia Masjid Mosque who is also a representative of the Interfaith Alliance. “Significant progress has been made in recent years,and ending homelessness in our province is possible. We look forward to a constructive dialogue with all the leadership candidates about how they intend to work towards lasting solutions to ending homelessness.”

The Vancouver Interfaith Alliance to End Homelessness is a non-partisan group whose members include over 60 diverse faith leaders representing community-based churches,mosques,temples,synagogues and spiritual centres from across the City.

Media Contacts:

Sandra Severs,First United Church

(604) 290-2330

Haroon Khan,Jamia Masjid Vancouver

(604) 720-8054