warmth of winter

The WoW series creates space for meaningful dialogue with residents of  the Downtown Eastside, whose voices are often silenced by societal norms.

During these events, we speak with residents about their lives, the struggles they face living in the DTES, and suggestions they have about ways the city and relevant organizations can better meet their needs. Last year, our events were aimed at learning about drug use in the DTES. As such, we asked residents questions related to substance use, safe practices, and their opinions on novel technology aimed at harm reduction. Through this series, we also aim to connect with each resident on a personal basis by learning about their ambitions, dreams, and moments that have defined their lives.

July 3, 2019

We met Cynthia and her partner near the safe injection site. They met each other three years ago. Cynthia is from the lower mainland area of Vancouver, and says getting through each day can be hard.

Through our conversation together, we learned a lot about the current i...

June 26, 2019

We met Chris alongside his partner of three years. Each pushing a shopping cart full of various objects, we had a long, insightful conversation into the community, discrimination against women, and what’s behind drug addiction.

The community of the downtown Eastside was...

February 23, 2019

Originally born in the interior British Columbia, Simon made the treacherous 14-hour journey to Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES) where he calls home now. Just like many of the residents on the DTES, Simon fell into drug addiction early on in his youth. The negative e...

February 22, 2019

In an exponentially growing world filled with billions of people, we as humans have the tendency to believe that we are unique, that we are an exception, that we can beat probability. More often than not, we are wrong. In reality, the truth is that we are just like eve...

February 21, 2019

On the way back to Waterfront station, we met David at the corner of a bustling intersection, Hastings and Abbott St. We introduced ourselves to David, who was sitting in a wheelchair carving wood pieces. He joked that he didn’t look his age, while admitting that he wa...

February 19, 2019

Guss, is from Ontario and has been living in the Downtown Eastside for years.

He only consumes alcohol and has never had a personal experience with drugs. Having lived in Vancouver, he has to deal with individuals who are often overdosed and some have even been forced i...

February 19, 2019

Tilly and Lee are new to the neighbourhood. Having come down from Prince George, they hope to spend the winter months at the minimum in Vancouver but also hope that this new city can be their new home. When asked about Prince George, Tilly shakes her head, describing i...

September 29, 2018

Wearing a red and black plaid shirt and a show-stopping toque, it was hard not to notice Blair sitting on a blue park bench. As I approached the corner, Blair looked up, nodded a curt greeting with the briefest eye contact, presuming that I would be on my way, heading...

September 29, 2018

Wrapping up for the day, I was headed southeast along East Cordova when I spotted Dominic, his orange windbreaker flapping in the wind. Huddled in the corner outside the steps of a graffiti-ed door, Dominic sat with his bike, two large bags of cans hanging off the side...

September 29, 2018

I’m not originally from Vancouver. I’m from Montreal, but I moved out here back when I was in my twenties to meet my dad for the first time. When we met, it didn’t work out and we parted ways once again. However, he contacted me a year before he died and gave me a hand...

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©2018 by Humanitarian Organization for Providing Empowerment. 

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