Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House
501 East Hastings @ Jackson Vancouver BC V6A 1P9
Telephone: 604 / 215.2030 Fax: 604 / 215.2080
New Programming Venue as of March 2010
573 East Hastings @ Princess Vancouver BC V6A 1P9
Telephone: 604 / 215.2090
The secular, grassroots Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House [DTES NH] is Vancouver’s newest NH since Collingwood’s debut 25 years ago. It embraces people of all ancestries, genders, ages and descriptions, annually welcoming almost 9,000 DTES residents in a community where 70% of our neighbours are low-income, 700 are homeless and 5,000 underhoused.
We mirror the entirety of our community: in its beauty and its harshness, its poetry and its frustration. We are activist, reformist and non-violent, critical of the poverty mentality and its handmaiden the charity model for the former serves only to stigmatize the vulnerable and the latter is unsustainable.
DTES NH programming is community inspired and varied, a sampling of which includes a Chinese Elders Community Kitchen, Leadership Development for Grand/Parents, a Children’s Community Kitchen, theBanana Beat, Recipes Against Racism, a Harmonica Club, Right to Food Mobile Mural Making,Im/Migration Workshops, Storytelling, a Family Drop In, HomeGround, Blender Nutrition and aRoving Community Kitchen. Our national partnerships focus on Environmental Justice in a community based participatory research project with the Universities of British Columbia, Ryerson, Toronto and Manitoba.
Those who built the DTES NH put the Right to Food at the heart of our work, as nutritional vulnerability was a theme familiar to all. In 2009 we co-founded the DTES Kitchen Tables Project with Potluck Café Society. The goal of the DTES Kitchen Tables Project is to reform the nutritional impact, quality, abundance and delivery of food in the DTES in consultation with residents, community food providers, non-food community organizations, healthcare professionals, policy makers, growers/suppliers, food/beverage industry professionals and researchers. DTES Kitchen Tables is now in its implementation Phase in collaboration with residents and sister organizations and seed funding from local/federal governments, foundations and businesses. DTES Kitchen Tables activities, reforms and outreach activities [Food Street Theatre and Food Jeopardy] have been designed from the start to be transferable to other communities. It is based on a Community Economic Development model, designed to create employment for DTES residents living with multiple barriers. To learn more about DTES Kitchen Tables: A Community Led Food Action Plan or to subscribe to its monthly newsletter, please visit www.dteskitchentables.org
The majority of DTES residents face “the soft bigotry of low expectations” – the casual assumption that those who are materially poor are morally, spiritually and intellectually bereft. It is projected upon DTES residents that being inner city youth or living with the challenges of mental health, class inequity, nutritional vulnerability, racial inequity, compromised health status, mono-parental families and/or advanced age somehow makes us less than full, complex people to whom in fact everything under the sun should be on offer and from whom much should be anticipated. At the DTES NH we have created a pocket of grassroots privilege in which our disadvantages recede to the background as simple facts, not testaments of our potential or harbingers of our futures. In this invested reality our disadvantages are no more determining than wallpaper.
DTES NH programming began in May 2005 in space borrowed from a community partner, with 1 part time staff and an annual operating budget of $23,000. During those early years we operated as a satellite program of Gordon NH, a member of the Association of Neighbourhood Houses of BC, and our Steering Committee composed of 20+ community members benefited from the mentorship of both organizations. In June 2009 the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House became an independent non-profit Society and has since applied for Charitable status.
In May 2007 we opened our 1st storefront and in April 2010 we expanded to a 2nd, transforming our original venue into our offices. Now with multiple staff and an annual operating budget over $400,000 our steady growth is made possible by widespread community support, the commitment of Volunteers who yearly invest 1000s of hours of unpaid work and public funders and private donors whose financial contributions pay the bills.
To donate, please make your cheque payable to the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House Society. Tax receipts are issued for all donations. Our charitable number is 85885 5653 RR0001. Cheques can be mailed to us at:
Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House Society
501 East Hastings St
Vancouver, BC V6A 1P9
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DTES NH Funders as of April 2011
Alexandra Foundation for Neighbourhood Houses, BC ACTNOW, BC Gaming,
BC Ministry of Advanced Education & Employment, Building Opportunities for Business Inner-city Society,
City of Vancouver, Central City Foundation, DASH BC, Margaret Mitchell Fund for Women,
Public Health Agency of Canada, Unitarian Church of Vancouver, United Way,
University of British Columbia’s Partnering in Community Health Research, Vancity Credit Union,
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority’s Community Food Action Initiative and SMART Fund,
Vancouver Foundation, Vancouver Parks & Recreation Board
DTES NH Donors as of April 2011
Acme Delivery Company, An anonymous East Hastings businessman and his beloved,
Benjamin Moore Paints, Linda Lucy Bujold, Mrs. Heather Campbell,
Dynamic Mutual Funds, East End Food Co-op, Fresh Choice Kitchens, General Paint, Gordon Neighbourhood House,
Habitat For Humanity’s Vancouver ReStore, Kiwassa Neighbourhood House, Leede Financial Market Inc,
Pedersen Family – in Memory of Peggie Pedersen,
Sasamat Outdoor Centre, Vancouver Elementary School Teachers Association, Vancouver Food Bank, Eva Zen
and countless other individuals from the DTES and beyond who have given of their time and coin.