Thursday, January 15, 2009

First United Church Now a 21-Hour Shelter but "not doing a very good job getting the word out"

(Photo of First United Church taken late Dec. 2008)

Geez it was cold last night.

First United Church at Hastings & Gore on the Downtown Eastside is now operating as a 21 hour shelter, according to Audrey Laferriere who ran for Council on the homeless issue.

Photo: Audrey Laferriere holds microphone at All Candidates meeting at Carnegie Center on Downtown Eastside in 2008, as she talks about homeless issue.

Laferriere wrote to the DTES Enquirer today,

"There still is a lot of homeless that do not know that the First United Church Mission is now a 21 hour shelter. The shelter providers are not doing a very good job getting the word out. I emailed HEAT (Mayor Gregor Robertson) on December 23rd that each lamp standard in the City should have a poster advising of this needed shelter but never heard anything from him. I was at the First United Shelter yesterday and was told that they had very little problems considering the 200 plus they look after each night."

The shelter accepts pets, carts, couples, singles, children, and teenagers. "Nobody turned away,"announces a poster put up this afternoon on the bulletin board at Carnegie Center.

The shelter opens at 8 p.m. in the evening and stays open until 5 p.m. the next day.

First United Church stopped functioning as a church with regular services and was turned into a mission some time ago. First United's former minister, Ruth Wright -- nicknamed 'Ruthless Wrong' by homeless William Simpson when an employee at the DugOut Drop-In, funded by the United Church, allegedly whacked two people across the head with a two by four -- once told the media that she should qualify for campground funding considering the number of homeless sleeping there.


Audrey Laferriere 778-329-1250 said...

Thank you for bringing this to your readership. In addition the United Church Mission Shelter is in need of lots of blankets as each blanket has to be washed after use and the church does not have the facilities to wash them so they have to be sent out and a surplus is therefore necessary. So if you have extra blankets let the shelter be their new home. From speaking to a few of the shelter users they are relieved that they do not have to sleep outside.

Dag said...

You won't likely read about this story in your major daily paper, and even less likely in papers in Minnesota or New York in times to come. No, but you will catch the news in the blogs.

You'll find out about homeless people, such as Bill Simpson, at a blog, but you won't even find out that newspapers are going bankrupt by reading the papers.

Rosslyn Smith, "Star-Tribune declares bankruptcy," American Thinker. January 16, 2009

"The far left Star-Tribune of Minneapolis, the 15th largest newspaper in the country by circulation, declared bankruptcy yesterday. It's been intellectually bankrupt for ages now, so this comes as no surprise.

Thomas Lifson adds:

Barely 10 years ago, McClatchey paid $1.2 billion for the Strib. Just 2 years ago, they cut their losses and sold it to the buyout geniuses at Avista Capital Partners for 58% less: $530 million. Thanks to the huge debts taken on to buy the paper, as well as the decline in nespaper industry fortunes, the equity value now must be in the neighborhood of zero.

2009 promises to be the year of newspaper bankruptcy. What other papers will follow? The New York Times is denying that it will go bankrupt this May...."

Remember, you read it here first.

reliable sources said...

Thanks for the info.


It's amazing to watch the major mainstream newspapers crumbling right in front of our eyes. No wonder the Vancouver Sun is forcing their writers to have blogs.

When I look at the $530 million the Strib was sold for just two years ago, it suggests that the impact of blogs and other internet news sources was not entirely anticipated by the msm business.

Dag said...

blogs allow anyone to write pretty much as they please, and many do just that. It's frightening to read some of it. It's frightening to read the minds of some who would otherwise have remained ciphers to all of us, people otherwise voiceless and powerless. Yes, there are the Sid Ryans and Paulovitch Berias with their little platforms to spout hatred and disease into the world, but they were tiny men in a huge universe. Now they have acolytes abounding, the spew thickens, the world is flooded with their evil.

Newspaper used to reject such rubbish from the opinion pages of hard copy, not bothering to give space to lunatics; but in the age of the Internet there's no restraint, and we read it all. In the long term, it's a good thing to let the crazies out into the open: the light of the world will burn them to the ground and into the soil as fertilizing ashes. Not in our life-time. We have a duty to work to spread the Good, as does Audrey and Rachel and-- OK, even Simpson. It's the fruit of Democracy at work here, and some of it will be poisonous, some will sicken and die from eating it, and others will grow stronger and live better from eating of the Good. But we'll all pass on and leave our works to those who follow, most of whom will forget our every detail, knowing only the lingering intuitions passed on by those who half-recall this or that, turned around and made into something sensible for them at the time. We write, we have faith that something good will arise from our daily labours, and perhaps some seed will sprout some time later to carry on. It won't come from the mass-media, the corpse of Newspapers.

Blog On! said...

I did not run for mayor only for council and it was an experience worth the time: it has scared the hell out of me. said...

Is there a way I can forward an email to you with pictures of the 201 shelter. The pictures were posted to let the homeless know where it was. I interpretted it as information to illustrate the state the shelter was in: an old warehouse with cracked stucco and mold ...

Dag said...

Audrey, I think your usual method of transmission is the best available. It sometimes takes a while to get stories written and published, given the work-a-day world we live in.

Next time you run for public office, get Rachel to manage your campaign. You'll be on top in a flash.