Reflecting on Virtue: The Honour of a Downtown Eastside Resident
The Downtown Eastside is a community that is unified by its diversity. Every Downtown Eastside resident I have met during my time volunteering with Bumpin Bakery comes from a different place, harbours varying ideologies, hopes for different things and carries themselves through life in a uniquely individualizing way.
Activate & Educate: The Tour
The Activate and Educate tour of the Downtown Eastside was more that just your traditional sight-seeing tour; it was an interactive experience that emerged high school and university students alike into reality through immersive activities carefully considered by the generous tour leader, Omar.
The Importance of Connection: Marvin’s Words
One of the first things he told me was that people “stuck in the pain of the past” can only escape if they are willing to communicate with other people.
Territorial Stigmatization: A DTES Perspective
In his studies regarding the social stigmatization of drugs, professor of sociology, Joseph W. Schneider remarks that it is not the composition or use of drugs that separate the “reputable [drugs]” from the “disreputable [drugs]”. Rather, it is the social status of its user.
Tyler: A Volunteer with a Vision
“Tyler, a regular volunteer during Bumpin’s Sunday handouts, delved into an array of insightful anecdotes as we conversed, his aspirations ringing strong and clear. He is currently in grade eleven attending Vancouver College, and it was only two years prior in grade nine when he heard about Bumpin by word of mouth through a close friend at school.”
Greg: A Life Story
“Talking with Greg, I learned various outlooks concerning matters within the contemporary world we live in, as well as insightful revelations regarding issues we face as Vancouver dwellers…”
Owen’s Inspiration and Point of View
“Everybody held their own individual stories and takes on life, quickly imprinting the conclusion in Owen’s mind that people living on the Downtown Eastside are not of one category, one nature, one label: they are a collection of singular people who only share a living space, people with more differences than similarities who chose to form a community to help and rely on one other. “
“The government desired to forcefully assimilate First Nations children by tossing them into unwilling Canadian homes, which resulted in a hostile and cold atmosphere for Herb, one where his culture was disrespected and shunned.”
A Way Up the Spiral: Omar’s Perspective
“You start by using once, and nobody thinks much of it; the top of the spiral. The more you use, the more your connections with family, friends and, ultimately the community, begins to crumble and drift away as you keep spiralling downwards, fueled by the gravity of addiction.”