SURREY (Kwantlen, Katzie, Qayqayt, & Kwikwetlem Territories): Despite the declaration of a provincial state of emergency, all levels of government and publicly-funded housing and shelter providers continue to fail to provide poor and homeless communities with the resources they need to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

For poor people throughout Metro Vancouver, the government’s only response to COVID-19 has been to take away crucial survival spaces and services, like libraries, community centres, and free food programs, without any replacements.

Supportive housing and shelter operators are floundering, with no clear guidelines in place or resources available to support residents’ health and wellbeing.

Red Braid organizer Isabel Krupp explains, “Warehousing vulnerable people in prisons, detainment facilities, shelters, and modular trailer housing in the midst of a public health crisis goes beyond neglect; it’s a death sentence for homeless people.”

Homeless activists are calling a press conference to demand that the government redirect resources to poor communities, so that they can take care of their own health and safety.

WHAT: Press conference with homeless speakers
WHEN: Thursday, March 19th at 2 pm
WHERE: Outside the Surrey Urban Mission Society (SUMS), 10776 King George Blvd, Surrey

Speakers living in modular housing, shelters, and on the streets will describe how government initiatives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted their lives and made their communities more vulnerable to the virus.

Speakers will demand access to the emergency health care and housing all communities need in order to survive COVID-19, and will make an ultimatum, pledging direct community action.