The last Gordie Award of 2017 goes to the people and youth of Vancouver that stood up to ensure that the disenfranchised could have a shot at temporary modular housing that was to be located in Marpole. The owner of the site at 59th and Heather had agreed that the city could build two temporary structures of 39 units each to house tenants that were over 45 years of age, with many with physical and medical disabilities. Fourteen of these units would be wheelchair accessible and staff would be available around the clock. Priority was to be given to the local homeless that rely on St. Augustine’s Church nearby to eat.
Local residents received notification from the City about the location of the modular housing and several reacted in protest not wanting this housing located in their community.
Kudos to the students at neighbouring Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School who researched the issue and then spoke out. They believed in YIMBY, “yes in my back yard”. As a member of Marpole Students for Modular Housing stated “I do understand that people can be set in their ways and they aren’t open to that kind of change. But I think this is one of those changes that is important for the benefit of our society as a whole and for our community being a better place in general…“I think the majority of the fear is not the fault of the individual, but the fault of society as a whole.”
The students held their own rally supportive of the modular housing and spoke for the inclusion of the people who will be living in the housing .The project is expected to be operational in early winter 2018.