Ellen Woodsworth starts 2010 Homelessness Hunger Strike

At 11 am this morning Vancouver City Councilor Ellen Woodsworth started a 7 day hunger fast as part of the 2010 Homelessness Hunger Strike Relay. Councilor Woodsworth took over from Myria Dumont who finish her 7 day hunger strike this morning.

Each week new volunteers take on the Wooden Spoon and participate in a week long fast for 7 days. The hunger strike will continue past the 2010 Olympics to June 2010.

The Hunger strike was started by community activist Am Johal to pressure the federal government to develop a national housing plan that houses everyone.

In a media release Councilor Woodsworth state her reasons for doing the the fast were as follows:

“The City has been proactive on dealing with homelessness, but the temporary HEAT shelters are just that – temporary. They close on April 30. To truly solve homelessness, we need to get other levels of government on board. Canada is the only G8 country without a national housing strategy. The cost of keeping people off the street is significantly cheaper than the medical and other associated costs of leaving them on the streets – the hunger strike is another way to bring attention to our need for a national housing program.

Solving homelessness isn’t as complicated as curing cancer – it’s a matter of political will. We need to build homes and put supports in them so people are successful.”

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