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Update on street vending in the Downtown Eastside

November 30 2015

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

The Downtown Eastside (DTES) Street Vending Project team assists and facilitates the movement of street vendors from East Hastings Street and surrounding areas to three designated safe and legal vending locations, one which is directly across the street from the 0-100 block.

About the new safe and legal vending locations

62 East Hastings Street

We recently created a legal street vending location at 62 East Hastings that is open Monday to Friday and is directly across the street from where the majority of street vending was taking place on the sidewalk of East Hastings.

501 Powell Street and Pigeon Park

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, including the 501 Powell Street and Pigeon Park locations open Saturday and Sunday. The vending site at 501 Powell had its busiest day yet this past Saturday as more people are vending and visiting the location.

Street vending ticket reports inaccurate

Reports of City staff and the Vancouver Police Department sweeping the 0-300 block of East Hastings and ticketing and displacing vendors are inaccurate. There have been zero street vending tickets issued during the past two weeks, as we support the DTES Street Market Society  to provide safe spaces for survival vending.

Legal vending locations part of the Downtown Eastside community plan

We have invested over $200,000 in 2015 for market operations and to create three legal, safe vending places in the Downtown Eastside, plus the purchase of land at 501 Powell. Providing legal places to vend was a key component in the Downtown Eastside community plan which took two years of engagement with the community, including input from Pivot Legal Society and several DTES groups.

Supporting housing and access to services

Our Housing Outreach team are walking around the DTES daily to engage with those who are homeless or sleeping on the street, and actively work with them to find housing and access to services — six people who were sleeping on East Hastings have been housed since November 15.

While finding permanent housing is an optimal goal, an additional 70 shelter spaces have opened this week and 100 more beds will be opened in early as part of the our Winter Shelter Strategy with BC Housing.