Homelessness Action Week





Thursday October 17th
Join us for a special film and art event to raise awareness about youth homelessness:

  • Mix-&-mingle at pre-film art reception (appetizers + cash bar) at Vancouver Community College and preview Out of the Rain, a special art exhibition where established, homeless and formerly homeless artists join forces through artwork to help end homelessness in Vancouver.
  • Catch a Special charity screening of Sugar, starring Shenae Grimes (90210; Degrassi – Next Generation) and Marshall Allman (Trueblood)
  • Engage with community change-makers at a post-film panel discussion featuring

• Rotimi Rainwater – Sugar Director;
• Judy Graves – former Advocate for the Homeless, City of Vancouver;
• Aaron Munro – RainCity Housing, Manager Community Development;
• Eireann Day – member of the Vancouver First Housing Speakers’ Bureau with lived experience of homelessness

Moderated by Am Johal, SFU Director of Community Engagement,Vancity Office of Community Engagement,SFU Woodwards Cultural Unit.

Pre-film art reception at Vancouver Community College (Main Entrance Atrium – 250 W. Pender. Enter off of Hamilton): 5:30 pm–6:30 pm

Film and panel discussion at SFU Woodward’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema (149 W. Hastings St.) 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm)

Sugar - Surviving on the streets of Venice Beach


Based on the filmmaker’s own past experience of homelessness,
Sugar is the story of a young girl with a troubled past trying to survive on the streets of Venice Beach, California. It tells an all too common story of a troubled youth learning how to stop hiding, and to start healing. A moving, realistic look at what forces so many youth onto the streets and what they go through to survive. It is not a story of redemption, it is a story of reality.

Director: Rotimi Rainwater
Winner – Community Vision Award – Cinema At The Edge Film Festival (2013)

Trailer“Sugar” Facebook page
Runtime: 98 Minutes
Contains mature content; 14+ advised


Rotimi Rainwater – Director, Sugar
After discharge from the Navy, Rotimi experienced homelessness first-hand. He lived out of his car and later on the streets for over a year while his mother fought an unsuccessful battle with cancer. His debut film, Sugar, is based on true events of his experiences as a homeless youth in Orlando, Florida.

Judy Graves – Former Advocate for the Homeless, City of Vancouver
Judy’s work with and advocacy for Vancouver’s homeless community spans many decades. Recently retired from the City of Vancouver, she continues to speak out and advocate passionately for the city’s most vulnerable citizens. Notably, in 2005, she designed the Homeless Outreach Program, now used across BC and Alberta. She has an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of British Columbia and an Honorary Doctorate of Sacred Letters from St. Mark’s College. Now a sought-after public speaker across Canada, Judy’s personal, lifetime goal is that all people in Canada have access to clean water, nutritious food, and a safe, private home.

Eireann Day – Vancouver Housing First Speakers’ Bureau
Eireann is a member of the Vancouver Housing First Speakers’ Bureau, and a graduate of Mental Health Peer Support Work training. With first-hand, lived experience of homelessness and schizophrenia, he works to advocate for those who are facing homelessness, poverty, and mental health issues.

Aaron Munro – Community Development Manager, RainCity Housing and Support Society
Aaron has worked with youth and adults without housing security for almost ten years in Vancouver. He believes passionately that any housing or support for people exiting street life needs to be routed in dignity, choice and accepting community. Through his work at RainCity he is currently raising funds to open Canada’s first queer homeless youth housing program.


Homeless Action Week is an annual regional campaign across Metro Vancouver aimed at raising awareness about and building community capacity and partnerships for local solutions to homelessness. Homelessness Action Week 2013 takes place from October 13th to 19th. Click here for more info on other HAW events in municipalities across Metro Vancouver. Click here for info about HAW events within the City of Vancouver.

Homelessness Action Week

As part of HAW 2013, the City of Vancouver has joined with Reel Causes to raise awareness about, promote dialogue around, and inspire action for change on homelessness issues and solutions.


RainCity Housing and Support Society is a grassroots organization built around compassion, purpose and a commitment to delivering progressive housing and support solutions for people living with mental illness, addictions and other challenges.

RainCity Housing

Supported by Simon Fraser University’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement

Video Contest

Create Reel Change Video Contest | Homelessness Action Week

Enter our video contest for Homelessness Action Week 2013

DEADLINE: January 31, 2014

Read the contest guidelines online, download a contest guidelines pdf or download an application form.