"We're Here Until COVID Isn't"

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Jase Tanner
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"We're Here Until COVID Isn't"

This is the 12th in the series of reports “Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside: Past and Present.” The Downtown Eastside (DTES) is a neighbourhood with severe issues, amongst them, poverty, homelessness and drug overdose, all of which have intensified with the pandemic.

The DTES draws in lots of people, family members of residents and past residents returning to work and provide support. We chanced upon a COVID-19 vaccination table, where we met Guy Felicella, peer advisor to Vancouver Coastal Health with an important connection to the neighbourhood.

The COVID 19 vaccination table isn’t slammed, but there is steady trickle of residents and workers stopping by to get their shot. We get a chance to speak to Vancouver Coastal Health peer clinical adviser, Guy Felicella. The clinics weren’t working he says, so they brought the vaccines to the neighbourhood. People lead busy and complicated lives he said.

With so many DTES people living in close proximity to each other, making vaccinations more easily available is all the more important.

Each day this week, we’ll publish another of these interviews.

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.

Future episodes will include representatives from various organizations: civic, provincial and grassroots, addressing the task at hand.

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: April 28, 2021
Vancouver Downtown Eastside

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