"For Some it's Only One Paycheque Away

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Jase Tanner
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"For Some it's Only One Paycheque Away

This is the 15th in the series of reports "Vancouver's Downtown Eastside: Past and Present."The Downtown Eastside is a neighbourhood with severe issues, amongst them, poverty, homelessness and drug overdose, all of which have intensified with the pandemic.

This week we interview Eliza McCullough, legal advocate for women in the Downtown Eastside and former program manager.

Eliza McCullough is no stranger to life on the street. As a youth she lived in the DTES and partied with the Granville St. kids. When given the opportunity to live in supportive housing in the she took it, but she didn’t turn her back on her friends.

She has built her professional career on support work and helping women in similar situations to her. With an abundance of caution for confidentiality concerns, she won’t name the organization she works for, but goes into some detail about the work that she does.

The Downtown Eastside, and the support programs and drug issues associated with it is not for everybody. Some people don’t agree with people congregating on the street or with the concentration of services provided in the area. McCullough explains her take on why the neighbourhood exists the way it does, and a bit about the people who make up the neighbourhood and why she has made a career supporting it.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Section 7, referred to in the video states: "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice."

In the present day, the Downtown Eastside faces multiple issues all of which have been exacerbated by COVID 19. This is within a population that has been struggling for decades. Amongst these are housing, health; including overdose, mental health and the impact of the pandemic, poverty and homelessness, indigenous reconciliation and policing.

The work to be done is not to be underestimated yet the resilience and determination of community members, not commonly recognized, continues to grow. As well as these individuals, we will also be hearing from those who live in the community and call it home.

 

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Video Upload Date: May 7, 2021
BC
-
Vancouver Downtown Eastside

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