Group attempts to bring attention to homeless issue



jeffhodson/metro vancouver


Pivot lawyer David Eby shows off a Rights Blanket at a press conference yesterday.

The Pivot Legal Society is blanketing Vancouver in pea green to draw attention to the city’s homeless problem.

The non-profit organization, which advocates for the poor and homeless, gave out 200 "Rights Blankets" at a Christmas lunch in the Downtown Eastside.

The pea-green nylon tarps are waterproof and are printed with a list of their rights.

But, said Pivot lawyer David Eby, the blankets aim to do more than keep the homeless dry and informed – they aspire to raise political awareness about homelessness.

"Our goal is not to become … a blanket provision company," said Eby. "Our goal is to eliminate homelessness and the need for these blankets in British Columbia."

The Rights Blanket is inspired by a similar campaign in Paris.

In 2006, activists erected a large number of bright red tents along the River Seine to draw attention to Paris’ homeless problem.

There are 2,300 homeless people in Vancouver and only 800 shelter beds, Eby said.