YIMBY T-shirts support new location of Charlottetown community outreach centre

A Charlottetown woman wants to turn a NIMBY moment over the location of a community outreach centre into a YIMBY movement.

YIMBY stands for yes in my backyard

The YIMBY T-shirts show support for Charlottetown's community outreach centre moving to the former curling club downtown. (Sarah Faith/Facebook)

A Charlottetown woman wants to turn a NIMBY moment over the location of a community outreach centre into a YIMBY movement.

Sarah MacEachern is heading up a group of concerned citizens who are printing and selling T-shirts with the slogan YIMBY: yes in my backyard.

"As a group of people who care and who value every member of our community, we decided that now would be a good time to start to show that," MacEachern told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier Friday.

A week ago, the province announced it is buying the Charlottetown Curling Club building downtown and is considering using it as a community outreach centre for people experiencing homelessness, poverty or mental health issues. The centre's current location on Weymouth Street is temporary. 

Almost immediately, the area's city councillor Mitch Tweel raised concerns about that idea, citing unspecified "challenges" in the current location and calling a potential move unfair.

MacEachern and a couple of friends came up with the idea for the shirts, which she said will be "a symbol or a representation of the community that we do have that does value and respect all of our community members, no matter their status." 

'We don't know ... these people's stories'

She does not live in the area of the curling club but does work there, for the Canadian Mental Health Association. 

'The idea kind of took off ... I kind of just jumped in and went for it,' says Sarah MacEachern, who came up with the idea for the YIMBY T-shirts. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

"I know that if the outreach centre of any of those type of services was to move into my community, I would be A-OK with it," said MacEachern.

The T-shirts, designed by Emma Drake, will be $20 each and 35 per cent of proceeds will go to the outreach centre. A link to purchase is on MacEachern's Facebook page, Sarah Faith. Friday morning, there were 65 orders.

She said discussion around the shirts is a good chance for Islanders to educate themselves and others. 

"We don't know what these people's stories, backgrounds are," she said. 

MacEachern said through her work, she is hearing from clients who may use the outreach centre that they are excited with the prospect of moving to a larger space, which is still downtown. Many clients live downtown and would not have transportation.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Island Morning


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