Vital community facilities expand services in Downtown Vancouver
These centres offer vital services that some residents are unable to access anywhere else and that many of us would take for granted – a hot meal, a place to shower and do laundry and somewhere warm and safe inside to sit.
Sandra Singh, General Manager, Arts, Culture and Community Services
Services and programming are expanding at three City-run community centres to provide additional support and essential services to residents in the area.
Adapted services during pandemic
Carnegie, Evelyne Saller, and Gathering Place community centres had to reduce their services earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic but will be expanding services to include increased drop-in space and dine-in meal services in late November. Dining indoors provides people a warm space inside to eat, especially as winter starts, and access to important services and connections. Masks will be required, in line with the Provincial Health Order issued on Thursday, November 19. Limited community programming will be offered with a focus on individual and community health and well-being, including keeping people connected, especially those who are isolated.
All three centres adapted services during the first wave of the pandemic so they could continue to provide low-cost, nutritious meals, showers, laundry, access to public washrooms, and shelter services. However, indoor access to the centres was restricted and community programming was offered “to-go” and outdoors.
“These centres offer vital services that some residents are unable to access anywhere else and that many of us would take for granted – a hot meal, a place to shower and do laundry and somewhere warm and safe inside to sit,” said Sandra Singh, General Manager, Arts, Culture and Community Services. “So many indoor spaces have closed or restricted access due to the pandemic. We know our centres are lifelines for so many residents and we’re pleased to be able to expand these much needed services as the weather starts to get colder.”
Services they have provided
Since reopening some of their services in July, the centres have:
- Welcomed more than 21,000 visits to their respite spaces
- Delivered more than 1,600 take-out meals per day
- Distributed more than 1,100 free re-usable masks made by local Elders to DTES community members
- Continued to offer 117 showers and 72 laundry cycles per day
- Launched mobile and pop-up programming near Oppenheimer Park
- Provided more than 1,300 cultural connection, nutrition, and care kits during the Powell Street Festival and Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
- Partnered with Vancouver Moving Theatre on the 17th annual Heart of the City Festival
- Activated cooling centres and cleaner air shelters
- Activated extreme weather response shelter services at Evelyne Saller and temporary winter shelter services at Gathering Place
Hours of operation
By the end of November 2020, all three centres will open every day for the following hours:
- Carnegie Community Centre – 9am to 9pm
- Gathering Place Community Centre – 9am to 7:45pm
- Evelyne Saller Community Centre – 9am to 11pm weekdays, 10 am to 10 pm weekends
All three facilities have been inspected by public health officials and approved as having met or exceeded standards for expanding services.