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Objective of DTES Street Vending Project Team to ensure safe, legal vending locations

November 18 2015

The DTES Street Market at Pigeon Park and Carroll Street in 2013

We would like to clarify the details and objectives of its DTES Street Vending Project Team. Claims of City staff and VPD sweeping the 0-300 block of East Hastings and displacing people are inaccurate.
 
Over the past few years, we have provided extensive support for the DTES Street Market Society to provide safe spaces for survival street vending.

Safe, legal vending locations

There are now safe and legal vending opportunities in the DTES seven days a week for those who rely on vending to help supplement their income through survival vending:

  • Monday to Friday: 62 E Hastings St
  • Saturday: 501 Powell St
  • Sunday: Pigeon Park (Carrall Street)

The City recently paved the legal street vending location at 62 E Hastings St which is open Monday to Friday is directly across the street from where the majority of illegal street vending takes place on the sidewalk of East Hastings. 

Team to assist movement of street vendors

The DTES Street Vending Project team was brought together due to increasing health and safety concerns, including crime and garbage, along the area from Pigeon Park to the 300 block of East Hastings.

The objective of the DTES Street Vending Project Team is to assist and facilitate the movement of street vendors from East Hastings Street and surrounding areas to either of the three designated safe and legal vending locations in the DTES.

This is a coordinated approach involving City of Vancouver Engineering and Housing Outreach staff, as well as staff from the Park Board and VPD.

Role of VPD

The primary role of the police is to provide a visible presence, keep the peace, minimize traffic disruption and congestion, and reduce the potential for injuries and damage to property.

There will be no tickets handed out by VPD to vendors. 

People may congregate on East Hastings

The DTES Street Vending Project Team is only focusing on street vending in the DTES. Staff are informing vendors of designated vending sites that are available seven days per week, and are providing support where necessary to assist vendors in moving to those locations.

People are still able to congregate along East Hastings. Staff are not displacing those who are homeless and sleeping on the street.

Every morning, members of the City’s Housing Outreach team are walking around the DTES to engage with those who they find sleeping and work with them to find shelter and access to services. Six people who were sleeping on East Hastings have been housed since November 15.

More shelter beds to open early December

An additional 70 shelter spaces have opened this week and 100 more beds will be opened in early December as part of the City’s Winter Shelter Strategy with BC Housing.

Representatives from the City and the VPD have engaged and solicited input from Pivot Legal Society, BC Civil Liberties Association, and several DTES groups in advance of the project team beginning their work this week.

Members of the DTES Street Vending Project Team will be taking extraordinary steps to ensure any personal belongings that might need to be stored will be done so safely and will be returned to their owner.