Handing out 500 red tents to the homeless isn’t what the city meant when it invited residents to “paint the town red” in support of our Olympic athletes.

Council said yesterday it’s going to try to nip the Red Tent Campaign in the bud and stop Pivot Legal Society and the Citywide Housing Coalition from handing out the tents.

“We’re not supportive (of the campaign),” said Coun. Kerry Jang. “We’re worried about the health and safety of the homeless.”

Jang said council is reviewing city bylaws regarding tent cities in light of a 2009 B.C. Supreme Court ruling that said homeless people have the right to erect a temporary shelter on city property if homeless shelters are full.

The red tents would act as symbols on the street, drawing people’s attention to the country’s homelessness crisis during the Olympics.

Jang said he and Mayor Gregor Robertson agree with Pivot that a federal housing strategy is needed, but that this isn’t the way to get it.