Six months ago today we launched DTES Response to ensure COVID-19 does not disproportionately affect our most vulnerable. 

Now, as we continue to face two public health emergencies — a pandemic and an overdose crisis, we can’t stop fighting for the Downtown Eastside. 

These are unsettling times, but in these times of uncertainty there is one thing we can be sure of: together we can do extraordinary things. 

And the last 6 months have been extraordinary. We’re reaching out to you today because we want to share how you’ve helped.

So many of you have stepped up to give back to the Downtown Eastside, and with your help we have raised an incredible $400,000 together. 

Impact of Your Contributions

Community Grants

Since the beginning the donations are going to frontline groups to support getting food, hygiene items, stipends for loss of income, and other needs that arise. The groups receiving funds include: 

Aboriginal Front Door, Coalition of Peers Dismantling the Drug War, DTES Community Organizers, DTES Neighbourhood House, DTES SRO Collaborative, Everybody Is In, Four Directions Trading Post, Health Through Spirit, Hives for Humanity, Hogan’s Alley Society, Jacob’s Well, La Boussole, Megaphone Magazine, Mosaic Church, Muslim Care Centre, MySafe Society, Overdose Prevention Society, PACE Society, Potluck Catering, Raise the Rates, Red Gate Arts Society, Urban Aboriginal Ministry, Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre Society, Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU), Vancouver Japanese Language School & Japanese Hall, Vancouver Women’s Health Collective, Watari Counselling and Support Services Society, WePress Community Arts Space Society, Raise the Rates, Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society, WISH Drop-in Centre Society

Community Projects

In addition to providing direct funds to frontline groups, we have also been busy organizing or supporting projects and helping to provide immediate needs, including:

  • Funding Potluck to provide almost 20,000 meals
  • Providing financial support to hundreds of community organizer (peer) jobs
  • Purchased desperately needed PPE, including thousands of gloves, hundreds of masks, and over 400L of hand sanitizer to disperse
  • Connection to hundreds of cell phones with plans
  • Over 100 Food Safe training spots for frontline workers for 13 DTES organizations
  • 7 support hubs that source and distribute donations 
  • 1 of Canada’s first safe supply distribution machines

None of this would be possible without you. 

Over 2200 of you have answered the call to help. Thank you. We want to extend gratitude to the 60 Community Circle monthly donors – your continued support is so appreciated. We also send appreciation to our charitable sponsor Network of Inner City Community Services Society (NICCSS).

We are also overwhelmed with the support of funders who heard about our work and also contributed. Thank you: Vancouver Foundation, Vancity Community Foundation, United Way, Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund and the Community Foundations of Canada, Modus, Spencer Creo Foundation, Coast Capital Community Relief Fund, Aisle, and Lush Cosmetics.

And we thank the frontline groups who are doing the work everyday to fight and support the residents in the neighbourhood. You inspire us.

We may have formed out of a pandemic, but the Downtown Eastside deserved our attention long before 2020. We will not stop supporting the neighbourhood. And we won’t stop fighting until both public health emergencies end.

Thank you. Stay safe.