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The Globe and Mail

Vancouver advocacy group creates 'Yimby' manual

Patrons of a temporary homeless shelter run by HEAT situated in a residential neighborhood sit outside the shelter onJune 12, 2009.


Vancouver's Pivot Legal Society is launching a how-to manual for people who want to welcome potentially controversial projects, including homeless shelters, to their neighbourhoods.

The manual – dubbed a "Yes in my backyard!" or Yimby tool kit – will include tips and strategies that have been used in other cities to support projects, including social housing and addiction services, and is to be introduced at a yard party in East Vancouver on Sunday.

The project was in part a response to Nimby – not in my backyard – attitudes that resulting in homeless emergency action team shelters being closed in 2009, the Vancouver-based advocacy group said Friday in a statement.

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In 2009, residents in the False Creek North neighbourhood complained of crime, vandalism and public disorder after the city opened two temporary homeless shelters in their neighbourhood.

Residents complained the shelters – low-barrier facilities designed to give people a place to sleep out of the cold – were opened in the neighbourhood with no consultation and placed next to a daycare centre and a seniors' residence.

After a public outcry, the shelters closed as spaces were found in other facilities.

Since the HEAT shelters opened in December of 2008, homeless advocates have lobbied for the facilities – meant as stop-gap measures – to stay open, saying the amount of social housing being built by the city and the province is not keeping up to shelter needs.

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