City council voted on Thursday to revise its Homeless Action Plan by April to come up with better short-term solutions to street homelessness and make sure bylaws are current.
The latter point is important to the Pivot Legal Society, because the Supreme Court of B.C. ruled last year that homeless people could erect temporary shelters on city property if shelters were full at night.
Pivot plans to distribute red tents to the homeless during the Olympics to draw attention to the city’s lack of affordable housing.
“This is an acknowledgement that the (Supreme Court) decision is binding and current bylaws need to be updated,” said John Richardson, executive director of Pivot. “We hope the city respects the rights of people to camp outside.”
Coun. Ellen Woodsworth called the city’s seven temporary shelters “Band-Aid solutions, at best.”
“We need to draw attention to this (homeless crisis) any way we can,” she said.