Between 2006 and 2013, at least 281 people died on the streets in British Columbia. Due to under-reporting, that number is likely much much higher. Victoria has the highest number of street deaths per capita in BC. In a four month period, 30 people died on the streets of this city.
These deaths are preventable. Not only are there tangible causes, but viable solutions. We need adequate health services, social housing, and harm reduction services. We need all levels of government to commit to eliminating poverty and preventing street deaths. See below for event info – see you there!
Tuesday June 16th — 4th Annual Convergence by and for people who use(d) illicit drugs
First Met Hall, 932 Balmoral, 9am – 3pm
open to people who use(d) illicit drugs
Wednesday June 17th — Moving Forward: Public Forum on Supervised Consumption Services
6:30pm – 8pm, First Met Hall (932 Balmoral)
Thursday June 18th — ‘Death as a Social Justice Issue: Perspectives on Death and Dying on the streets of Victoria': panel discussion
2 – 4 pm, Central library Community Rm (732 Broughton)
Friday June 19th — ‘Street Deaths are Preventable Deaths’ Rally
More about the Wednesday Night Panel
Marianne Alto Councillor, City of Victoria & Director, CRD
Katie Lacroix Chair, yes2scs Peer Advisory Committee
Bernie Pauly Scientist, Centre for Addictions Research of BC
Bruce Wallace, Assistant Professor, UVic School of Social Work
More about the Thursday afternoon panel
In 2014, a Megaphone report revealed that homelessness cuts an individual’s life expectancy in half. As part of the Street Deaths are Preventable Deaths week of action and education, panelists in this forum will offer the audience perspectives on death and dying on the streets of Victoria. These perspectives will include the situation ‘on the ground;’ barriers and facilitators to healthcare; and responses and strategies to improve quality of life for our community members.
While there is a tendency to put fault in the hands of the ‘at-risk’, ‘vulnerable’ and ‘marginalized,’ this forum seeks to explore systemic inequities that create and maintain marginalization. We hope to move the issue of death and dying in this population beyond awareness and motivate the audience to be part of strategies for social change.
Bernice Kamano, Aboriginal Coalition
Bernie Pauly, Centre for Addictions Research of BC
Bruce Wallace, Street Deaths are Preventable Deaths Campaign & UVic Faculty of Social Work
Grey Showler, Palliative Outreach Resource Team (PORT) & Cool Aid Community Health Centre
Kristen Kvakic, PORT & AIDS Vancouver Island
Yvette Ringham-Cowan, Cultural Safety Program, Island Health