TENANTS STILL HAVE HOMES
TENANTS STILL HAVE HOMES
HI Folks, I am happy to report that the tenants at the Gastown Hotel will not be turfed into homelessness over the Xmas season. Posted below is a press release I issued on behalf of the Gastown Hotel owner. While the police are to be commended for their efforts on behalf of the downtrodden, the Xmas season is not the time to be creating homelessness. I have been advised by the Ministry and the City that a police report regarding allegations at a number of hotels hasn't been presented to them and therefore tenants will remain in their homes for now.
PROMINENT ACTIVIST CALLS on CITY and POLICE NOT TO TURF TENANTS at GASTOWN HOTELDecember 21,2005
Jamie Lee Hamilton, a well known DTES activist is coming to the aid of the Gastown Hotel operator who is facing a barrage of serious VPD allegations.
Ms Hamilton claims the hotel operator, is someone who has a long history in the Downtown Eastside and is known for his humanity. While it's often difficult to manage these hotels and the hard-to-house tenants who reside in them, Mr. R has operated the Gastown Hotel since 1981 without the usual problems which occur at a number of other hotels in the area.
Ms Hamilton who is acting in an official capacity at the request of Mr. R, states, "it would be tragic for tenants, if the city and police efforts resulted in hotel residents being displaced from their homes just before Christmas".
"If there was staff inpropriety as the police so allege during an undercover operation, then it is prudent to give Mr.R an opportunity to resolve this inpropriety. But to take it out on close to 100 tenants, many with mental health, drug addiction and HIV/AIDS issues, by turfing them into homelessness is not a solution", claims Jamie Lee Hamilton.
There is no doubt rampant community exploitation occurring in the DTES, charges Ms Hamilton. However, closing the Gastown Hotel will not adequately address this troublesome issue.
The Police and City need to come together with Mr. R and myself to find resolve to this issue. If staff at the hotel acted illegally, they will terminated immediately for cause. Moreover, Mr R is willing to work co-operatively to resolve any concerns that the City and Police have.
Tomorrow, the tenants rents become due and it would be irresponsible if the City doesn't commence a meeting immediately to resolve the anguish and uncertainty the tenants at the Gastown Hotel are facing. Ms Hamilton and Mr. R will be available for a media briefing tomorrow at 1pm at the Gastown Hotel, located at 110 Water Street.