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Itchy the Bedbug, Creepy the Cockroach and Chewy the Rat

Itchy the Bedbug

We chose Itchy the bedbug as a Poverty Olympics mascot because he represents what many low income people, especially people who live in residential hotels and rooming houses, have to deal with every day. There is an epidemic of bedbugs in Vancouver. They are extremely hard to get rid of and make lives so miserable for people that some refuse to go to their hotel rooms to sleep. Hotels and rooming houses in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside community are often poorly run and filthy, and still often cost more than a person on welfare or disability gets for shelter ($375 per month).

Itchy was made in Vancouver with sari material bought at a second hand store.

Bedbug mascots

Creepy the Cockroach

All over BC many people who live in low-rent accomodation have to put up with these disgusting creatures climbing over their food, up their walls, into their pipes, and in their beds. Most buildings in the Downtown Eastside have them.

Creepy was made of velour and leather in Vancouver.

Cockroach mascots

Chewy the Rat

When rental accomodation is not kept up properly, rats thrive. In Vancouver there is a Standards of Maintenance bylaw that says landlords must keep their premises vermin free, but the city often fails to enforce this aspect of the bylaw.

Chewy was made in Vancouver of recycled skirt lining material and other scraps.

Itchy, Creepy, and Chewy all show that we need better housing in BC, housing that our governments could afford to build with some of their massive surpluses.