Vancouver – I’m the sex work campaign lawyer with the Pivot Legal Society and a member of the 2016 Pivot Legal Welfare Food Challenge Team. For most of my adult life, I’ve done human rights advocacy. I’ve also lived around and worked with people who were poor – in refugee camps in Thailand, in various parts of east Vancouver, and in First Nations communities throughout the province. I’ve seen grinding poverty throughout Southeast Asia, where government income assistance programs are often negligible.
I’ve also seen that it’s sometimes easier to house yourself and forage for wild foods in the temperate climate there than it is to struggle to survive in this cold, expensive country we call home. I find it incredibly disturbing that in our society, with so much affluence, we allow people in our communities to live without adequate housing or food, and then we criminalize them for trying to get those things in our public spaces. We can do better. We need to raise the rates, and that’s why I’m taking part in this challenge.