Home > About Vancouver > All News > The Gathering Place celebrates 20 years serving Vancouver's Downtown South

The Gathering Place celebrates 20 years serving Vancouver's Downtown South

May 14 2015

Celebrating 20 years of operation, the Gathering Place has been an integral part of the Downtown South Community since 1995, providing support and services to Vancouver's vulnerable populations.

Operated by the City of Vancouver, thousands of people visit the Gathering Place every year seeking a sense of belonging and community, as well as support.

Patrons include people on low income, those with disabilities, seniors, youth, and people who are homeless.

"The Gathering Place has been a central hub for its changing community and many of Vancouver's most vulnerable residents for over 20 years," says Mayor Gregor Robertson. "Countless lives have been positively impacted by its services and contributions to the neighbourhood, and I'm pleased to see the continued growth of this community centre and its programming."

What the Gathering Place offers today

When first created, the Gathering Place was to be a space where residents could meet and discuss their needs.

The centre has since evolved to serve a broad spectrum of patrons with services and programs that provide the opportunity to engage in their community and to create positive change in their lives.

As the only community centre serving at-risk populations in the Downtown South, the Gathering Place cafeteria proudly served over 170,000 meals last year.

A volunteer program which offers tickets volunteers can use for free meals has logged over 750,000 hours of volunteer work in the last 20 years.

The Gathering Place also offers a health centre, recreational programs, and art therapy workshops.

Through a partnership with the Vancouver Board of Education adults can register for free courses and educational programs, no matter their current level of learning.

Recent City-funded renovations increased capacity and programs

Over the past three years, the Gathering Place has undergone major renovations to increase capacity and support programs. The renovations, which were funded through the City's capital budget, made possible:

  • An additional program room
  • An enhanced art programming space
  • A¬†welcoming new entrance and common area
  • An additional office for community partner- and programming use

What's next for the Gathering Place

Going forward, the Gathering Place will continue growing its programs and services to meet the needs of Vancouver's vulnerable populations.

Current plans include:

  • Enhanced arts programming
  • New health programs
  • Public computers
  • Job-skills workshops
  • Cooking and nutrition programs

The Centre is also expanding its involvement in the community by creating more partnerships with local businesses and organizations.

Learn more about the Gathering Place