As the holiday season approaches, many will enjoy the festivities with family and friends but other people in Vancouver will be hurting. Those living with mental illness can find this time of year challenging and our clients at The Kettle Society often find the holidays to be the loneliest time of year. Most services are closed on December 25th, but we stay open. Everyone feels accepted and at home here. On Christmas Day we host a turkey lunch with all the trimmings, table cloths and décor. Depending on public donations, we give out small gifts like gloves, socks and boxes of chocolates. We want everyone to feel valued.
Talk is cheap, and Vancouver's Mark Brand exemplifies the social entrepreneur who's all about getting things done. Brand's business isn't about stuffing his personal bottom line. Over coffee at his diner, Save On Meats, he shared his vision and goal for being a leader and creating a social business model that's independently sustainable, while supporting the local community.
Over the past weeks, Pivot Legal Society has talked to homeless men in Stanley Park and documented six assaults in the last month. Some of the victims have talked to the police, some have chosen not to report, and instead are finding more isolated places to sleep in an attempt to avoid detection by would-be assailants. This recent series of assaults against homeless men is not surprising in light of research looking at rates of victimization among homeless people.