By Christy Barritt
Homeless Find Innovative Shelters in Vancouver
A Vancouver charity found a unique way to help the area’s homeless: they converted city benches into pop-up shelters.
RainCity Housing specializes in accommodation and support services for homeless people in Vancouver. They created park benches that provide places for people to wait for a bus or sit during the daytime. But at night, the backboard lifts and converts the seating area into a shelter with an overhang.
The bench uses UV rays from sunlight so that during the day it reads, “This is a bench.” At night, glow-in-the-dark wording appears, reading, “This is a bedroom.” Once a user opens the bench, they find the words, “Find a home here” and the address of an actual RainCity shelter.
The benches’ purpose is twofold: to provide a service and to raise awareness.
Judge Rules in Favor of Teen in Hospital Custody Battle
A 16-year-old was returned to her family after a year-and-a-half custody battle with the hospital where she was a patient.
As we reported weeks ago, Justina Pelletier suffers from mitochondrial disease. When her condition worsened, she was taken from the hospital where she was regularly treated and to the Boston Children’s Hospital, where her doctor had been transferred.
However, when she was admitted she was assigned to new doctors. The medical team there devised a new plan—to discontinue her normal medication. They also diagnosed her with somatoform disorder, which required psychiatric care.
Her parents protested, which led to the hospital claiming the couple was guilty of medical child abuse.
Her father said Justina’s condition has worsened throughout this custody battle. The former ice skater now uses a wheelchair, but said it’s “awesome” to finally be back home.
Londoner Suspended for Praying with Coworker
Victoria Wasteney, an occupational therapist in East London, prayed for a Muslim coworker who had expressed concerns about her health. Victoria said her coworker willingly agreed and said it was OK to pray for her.
But later, her colleague filed a complaint against Victoria, who was then called before the Associate Director. Victoria was suspended for nine months pending an investigation. The Muslim colleague never complained to Victoria personally and had even initiated conversations about Victoria’s faith.
The disciplinary hearing ruled that Victoria was guilty of three offenses: praying for her colleague, inviting her to church charity events, and giving her a Christian book about a Muslim girl who converted to Christianity.
Victoria feels she was “entrapped.”
The Christian Legal Centre is supporting Victoria in her appeal under the Equality Act 2010 for discrimination and harassment on grounds of religion and belief.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.