This came out yesterday from First United Church in the downtown east side of Vancouver. Not on their website yet, so I'm copying and pasting it here, in the absence of a link:
For Information call Nina Matthews
First United Church
604-681-8365 ext 117
Press Conference: Wednesday Feb 3rd at 7.00pm:
Launch of a campaign to build off the Olympics to end Homelessness
Despite their very different perspectives on the 2010 Olympics, the Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson (hosting the Games) and Dr Chris Shaw (prominent anti-Olympics activist) will share a common stage in launching a new initiative to end homelessness in Vancouver. Local MPs and MLAs have been invited to join them at the Press Conference. (A full list of the people who to date have indicated support for the initiative is available from this office).
The initiative points out that whether we support or oppose the 2010 Olympics, the efforts of VANOC prove that we have the ability and the resources to overcome massive obstacles and achieve significant outcomes. “Two Worlds – Share the Gold” initiative seeks to translate the momentum and achievements of the Olympics into tangible and comprehensive actions that visibly address local needs. In particular it is a call to leverage the creativity, energy and commitment currently directed at successfully responding to the challenge of the Olympics to addressing the Olympian challenges of alienation, addiction, poverty and homelessness.
Share the Gold invites people, during the Olympics, to:
1. Wear Gold/Yellow (Toques, scarves, tops, ribbons, etc) as a collective call for all three levels of Government, Corporations and individuals to join in establishing a VANOC equivalent to end homelessness.
2. Deliberately engage in conversation with people from a world different to your own so as build understanding and respect (reaching out across social strata, race, nationality, language, religion, sexual orientation, etc)
3. Consider contributing 5% of what you spend on Olympics-related activities to a fund for ending homelessness.
Rev Ric Matthews (First United Church) points out “This is not about simply throwing more money at doing ‘more of the same’, but is about ensuring a comprehensive and integrated effort to address homelessness in its relation to poverty, addiction, mental illness and other socio-economic and political factors”. He adds, “It is about recognizing this need as a priority and providing a vehicle for addressing it effectively and urgently – and it’s about recognizing that a body similar to one like VANOC, empowered by the collective will of all levels of Government and actively supported by Corporate interests, (but also inclusive of the homeless community and its representatives) is the best vehicle to achieve that”.
The Two Worlds – Share the Gold initiative will be officially launched at a Press Conference at First United Church, 320 E Hastings Street, at 7.00pm on Wednesday February 3rd. All are welcome.
First United Church
320 Hastings St