Seven-year-old wants to help


Joshua Smith has helped homeless people for two years. He is seven years old.
Photo by Wayne Leidenfrost/The Vancouver Sun

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun by Nila Gopaul

Joshua Smith is only seven years old.
But he plans to feed over 500 homeless people
this Christmas Eve.
Joshua and his mother, Traci Smith, have helped
feed homeless people for two years.

“He’s an average kid,” says his mother.
“He’s bratty. He’s sassy.
Doesn’t want to do his homework.”
He’s no different than any other child.
But something changed Joshua.
Something affected him. Continue reading

Tent city (Nov print issue)


Brody Williams at Oppenheimer Park’s tent city
Photo by Ric Ernst/The Province

Read the story “Tent city” in The Westcoast Reader
or click and enlarge the photo.

The front page of the print edition of The Westcoast Reader,  November 2014

The front page of the print edition of The Westcoast Reader,
November 2014

Listen to the story – Level 2
Reading by Corey Muench

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Continue reading

Oppenheimer Park’s tent city goes


Oppenheimer Park’s tent city
(Photo: Kim Stallknecht/The Vancouver Sun)

Adapted from The Province and The Vancouver Sun by Nila Gopaul
Level 2

Tent city
About 150 campers are living
in Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park.
The park is in the Downtown Eastside (DTES).
The campers have been there since July 15.
They have no home.
They have no place to go.

Tent city goes
On October 15, 2014, tent city will go.
The city has ordered the campers to leave.
But they have nowhere to go, they say.

There are places to stay, the city says.
They are called shelters.
Some people say the shelters
are not safe. They are not comfortable.
People have to sleep
on the floor.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson
promised to end homelessness by 2015.
Today there are about 550 people
with no home.

One person called tent city
“an eyesore” (very ugly to look at).

Another person says tent city
is a good way to show people
the homeless problem.

One woman asks,
“259 agencies that help the DTES
and not any of these 259 can give help?”

Some people say,
“Shame on the city, shame on the government.”