There are a lot of people talking about homelessness these days. Not very many of those people are homeless. We want people to be talking about homelessness, but we want people to have informed opinions. We do not want to be spoken for. We hope this site helps!
Super InTent City (SIC) is a leader in the movement against displacement and for housing justice. SIC has exposed a local housing crisis, and shed light on problems in current shelter and supportive housing, and bylaws that unfairly target homeless people (e.g., the 7-7 camping bylaw). Today, the organization that formed at Super InTent City (InTentCity as home) continues to fight for the most marginalized, criminalized, and dehumanized members of our society. Many of us have moved into “supportive” housing and we are continuing the fight for Homes Not Jails.
Tent city was displaced in August, 2016 after the Province applied for a second injunction to move us along. Through this legal and political battle, we won 147 units of permanent social housing. This contract was given to Portland Hotel Society, and those of us who were able to get rooms are currently living in that building fighting for adequate housing free from social worker paternalism and police surveillance and violence.
The right to govern ourselves is particularly important given the current overdose crisis. Direct peer support is the most important factor in supporting the health of a community. The inability to control our lives – such as lack of control over who can & cannot enter our home, including police – is having impact through an increase in deaths in the community because of a lack of free access to friends and family. During our time at SuperIntent City, our community had one overdose related death, and during our time in the Johnson Street building, we have had almost one a month.
What We Want
Our goal is to run our own housing by and for low income people. We have the expertise to run our own shelters and housing and we don’t need service providers to do it for us. In shelters and “supportive” housing our rights are violated and there are no transparent mechanisms to lodge complaints. In the Portland Hotel Society, and across Canada, low income folks are treated as if we should be grateful for shelter given, even though that shelter includes an incredible amount of control over our lives through the police and healthcare system.