BCS is committed to working with and in service of marginalized communities, focusing on the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. We see our role as a megaphone for those voices that often don't get heard. We believe in effective trust-based partnerships that can lead to community-based solutions. We hope to inspire and to develop those partnerships among local people, community organizations, and all levels of government.
Currently, BCS is zeroing in on the right to health and housing for those persistently underserved by both sectors. Homelessness has increased steadily since the mid-nineties when the National Housing Program ended. At the same time, there has been an increase in mental health challenges and complexities, especially for the homeless population. Housing is a major determinant of health and wellbeing and we believe that social housing with government supports is necessary to house the homeless now and in the future. Housing affordability will remain a major barrier to any form of "market-based" solution in a system where some individuals only have $375 per month to pay for rent. As citizens who believe we have some responsibility to notice and support the most vulnerable, and to work with everyone to find solutions. Our intention is to offer a voice for adequate and sufficient (different from efficient) housing and mental health supports.
We would like to acknowledge the valuable contribution our former colleagues of BCS: Michael Clague, Maggie Geiser, Frank Kaplan, Ray Spaxman, Joe Wai, Milton Wong.