Community Briefs

CITY HALL FIGHT

The Pivot Legal Society filed a lawsuit Nov. 22 in B.C. Supreme Court on behalf of a formerly homeless man. Clarence Taylor, 57, says he was approached by members of the Vancouver Police Department or City engineering staff roughly 100 times between March 2009 and January 2012 and issued several tickets for building structures to protect himself from the elements.

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With the assistance of Pivot, Taylor is challenging three city bylaws - the Street and Traffic Bylaw, Parks Control Bylaw, and City Land Use Regulation Bylaw - on the grounds that they prohibit people from sleeping outdoors, and prevent home-less persons from erecting a shelter over themselves and engaging in other life-saving activities. In his Notice of Civil Claim, Taylor states that the by-laws violate his Charter right to life, liberty and personal security.

MENORAH TIME

The tallest and largest Hanukkah Menorah in Canada will be kindled Saturday Dec. 8 at 7 p.m., marking the first night of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah. The two-decade old candelabra stands tall over Georgia Street at over 30 feet high and 26 feet wide. It's called the Silber Family Agam Menorah after Fred Silber, who dedicated it to Vancouver. The entire community is invited to join for the lighting ceremony, which will be followed by a grand party at the Lubavitch Centre on Oak Street featuring music and traditional treats.

MALADJUSTED THEATRE

Theatre for Living (Headlines Theatre) will explore the mental health care system and the value of patient-centered care to everyone with a new production called maladjusted that is being created and performed by caregivers and patients from the mental health community. The interactive show will encourage audience members to try to solve real problems that people face in the sys-tem every day. Theatre for Living says the production will give those living with mental health challenges, including their family members and friends, "a chance to explore, to re-think, to transform." Theatre for Living wants to provide 1,000 tickets to low-or no-income members of the community to be part of the story. A donation of $15 will cover one ticket. To donate, go to canadahelps.org and search for "maladjusted."

BLANKET DONATION

The Blanket B.C. Society is making it easy to donate. Anyone travelling the Canada Line Nov. 23 and 24 will be able to donate blankets and warm clothing, such as socks, scarves, mittens and blankets as part of a two-day campaign called Drive on the Line. Blanket B.C. will have more than 100 volunteers on hand to collect the goods, which will be divided and donated to more than 50 shelters in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.

POWELL PLACE

Cindy Beedie and the Beedie family have pledged $375,000 in matched gifts to help reach the final $4.3 million goal to expand Powell Place Women's Shelter. Homeless women account for 30 per cent of all homeless people in Vancouver. Beedie, chair of the Powell Place capital campaign, will match donations from now until Dec. 25.

Powell Place Women's Shelter, currently in a temporary location, will move back to its original home at 329 Powell St. - with the upgraded facilities, expanded services and the ability to accommodate twice as many women. Other donors include St. Mary's Kerris-dale Anglican Church, Rudy and Patricia North, Central City Foundation and Face the World Foundation.

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