Pivot and MEC to blanket homeless with legal rights
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 18, 2007
Pivot Legal Society today began giving away the first run of its new Rights Blanket to homeless individuals living in the Downtown Eastside at the LifeSkills Centre on Cordova Street.
The high-tech Blanket, co-designed and produced by Mountain Equipment Coop, is designed for homeless people, made of waterproof dernier nylon and features a printed list of people’s rights in relation to housing, security guards, police and welfare.
“We wanted to create a product that would be not only useful on the practical level for someone living on the streets, but also effective as way of informing people about their rights under the law,” said John Richardson, executive director of Pivot Legal Society.
A joint project between Mountain Equipment Coop and Pivot, the Rights Blanket is light-weight, rugged, and easy to pack. Made of the same material as MEC’s high-end rainjackets, the Rights Blanket acts like a large, light-weight tarp with footpockets, drawstrings and a built-in stuffsack. It wraps around a sleeping person, their clothing and insulating blankets, protecting them from water and wind. Silk-screened onto the inside of the Blanket, in 26 point font, are various need-to-know rights for homeless people, including their rights in relation to panhandling, security guards, housing, policing, and welfare.
The first run of 500 Rights Blankets will soon be gone, but Pivot is already taking orders from the general public for the next batch. Interested people can provide a Rights Blanket to a homeless person for $50.00. Donors have the option of picking up the Blanket themselves to give away to someone in need, or having a non-profit agency in the Downtown Eastside give it away on their behalf. People who wish to donate a Rights Blanket can place an order online or call Pivot at (604) 255-9700.
The Rights Blanket lists legal rights and other information including where homeless shelters are located in Vancouver.
About Pivot Legal Society
Pivot’s mandate is to take a strategic approach to social change, using the law to address the root causes that undermine the quality of life of those most on the margins. We believe that everyone, regardless of income, benefits from a healthy and inclusive community where values such as opportunity, respect and equality are strongly rooted in the law.
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