Sunday, September 24, 2006


I'll Never Sleep Again

OK, so I got me so het up about the last post that I wrote the Mayor and Council.

WTF? I think I may be way out of hand here.

Anyhow, here's what I wrote:


Dear Mayor Sullivan and Council:

I have long been concerned with the problems that we have with people living on our streets because of a lack of housing, affordable or otherwise. I mean, yes, affordable housing is an issue, but ~any~ sort of housing is an issue. My husband and I are both educated and employed, drug-free and generally law-abiding, and having been pretty much trashed financially by the leaky condo thing, have lived in all sorts of unsuitable places for the last few years.

We have been fortunate enough to be able to rent a house from the District of North Vancouver and we finally after three years of waiting and about 40-50 phone calls (I'm persistent) have a (mostly) decent house for a rent we can afford. We live, of course, with the spectre of being evicted at any time should the District decide to develop this land, but we consider ourselves extremely fortunate and believe that the District has no immediate plans to develop their land.

I'm one of those annoying do-gooder types and spend a lot of my time working to bring some comfort to those who are homeless or in need, through a program called Blankets for Canada. Basically we distribute handmade blankets acruss Canada to shelters or to anyone in need. I think we record about 6,000 blankets a year, although as many of our smaller chapters don't do the paperwork we ask them to do, we think it's closer to ten thousand. A drop in the bucket, really, but we do what we can.

Anyhow, there's a point to this (and I'm sure you're glad I'm finally getting to it). I have a blog and you can find it at if you're really interested but it's not necessary to go there. I tend to be a bit of a pottymouth and I'm sure I babble on about a lot of things that you have no interest in (I mean it's mostly a knitting and humour blog), however I wrote a post tonight about an idea that's been fermenting in my head for a while.

Why don't the people of Vancouver fund some housing for our neighbours who live on the street? I don't mean through taxes or whatever, I mean why don't WE pay for it? They're OUR neighbours and they're human beings; why don't we just stop pussyfooting about and do it? Isn't it time to step up to the plate and stop asking others to take care of our problems?

The gist of my post tonight was that there are what, about two million people in Vancouver? So I figure half of us are either too poor or too disinterested to participate. And about half of the remaining million are kids. But that leaves half a million people. If everyone put in just $1 a month into a fund, that would be six million dollars in a year. Couldn't land be found and a decent housing complex be built for that? I mean the condo complex I used to live in cost $15 million to put up but it had all fancy Italian marble tile and oak cabinets and brass hardware and vaulted ceilings and gas fireplaces and stuff. Couldn't something serviceable and nice be built for six million? I mean I know it wouldn't house the 1300 homeless but we could maybe get a hundred or so folks in from the cold.

Would Council consider doing something totally pie-in-the-sky like starting a fund that people in Vancouver who cared about their neighbours on the street could contribute to voluntarily, to build them some housing?

Is it totally bonkers to think that if there was a voluntary fund started that it wouldn't flop?

I sort of think it might fly, but then again I may have too much faith in my fellow man. I mean, I'd sure put in my buck a month and run a carwash or a bakesale or sell some knitting to raise funds. And if I raised $200 ... how many others could?

Isn't it time we took some responsibility for each other? Or should I just sit in the corner and eat some granola and sing kumbaya?

Anyhow, I'll stop here, but I'd really like you to think about calling on the good nature of our citizens to take care of each other and maybe just fix the problem without sitting around and waiting for someone to write some sort of legislation and figure out where to take the tax dollars from.

Janice MyLastName


Half of me hopes they'll consider it. Half of me hopes they'll shoot it down so that I don't have to make it work.


WHAT was I thinking?

Sincerely yours,
Mrs. Granolapants

Obviously you really don't want to ever sleep again!

Good for you!

And every damn work verfication thingy I get looks like cuss words in Hawaiian.
I hope they listen to you.
Dear Ms. Granolapants,

Please ignore my comment about on your previous post about you running for Prime Minister. You should either turn your sights to the local community, ie city council, or to a global scale, ie UN Secretary General. I'm sure you could make a difference either way.

The world needs you.
I think Habitat for Humanity has the same general idea you do. Only people contribute whatever they can, be it money, time or supplies. If there isn't a local chapter, why don't you start one? That way you can be sure to cut into your sleeping time!
What a refreshing and welcome change to the MeMeMe I see all day, every day. Mind if I pass your idea on to our local Councillor? My hat's off to you.
Now, go get some sleep!
Hooray for Ms. Granolapants! If more people thought like you, what a wonderful world it would be. But that was kinda your point wasn't it? What a great letter!
Awesome letter. I hope it gets to someone who will actually read it and has intelligence much above the standard politician.
I love this letter and I hope you receive a reply with an affirmative. I would gladly contribute (I live in Richmond and am one of the 1/2 million who are interested).
Huh. I wonder if it would be feasible to organize such a thing privately?
Yea, you! Very rational, very selfless! Probably won't make a dent in the heads of the powers that be if you flung it at them in a toaster! Your option? Do it yourself!
But get some sleep first! We love you and need you healthy! :=)
Well said. I live in Delta but work in Kerrisdale. Even tho the "creme de la creme" don't like it, they have street people in this lovely affluent neighbourhood. I'll give them food or a warm drink (have issues re cash to panhandlers). I like your idea but am afraid there's not enuf in it for the legend-in-his-own-mind Mayor Sam.
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