"Please help." Beggars, Homeless & Junkies Tip by DuluthMN

Beggars, Homeless & Junkies, Vancouver: 33 reviews and 9 photos

First off, I've worked in this field for a long time, at a YWCA downtown housing centre. Not much is shocking to me, and I can tell right away when someone is in trouble and when someones yanking my chain. I was in Vancouver for the first time back in May (I ran the Vancouver Marathon; LOVED IT, stayed at the 'Y' of course, loved that too...). Anyway the day after the marathon I decided to walk around a little. I've known about DTES (downtown eastside) for years; I absolutely loathe the idea that tourists go to these areas to 'look at these people' as if it's the circus. I did notice, while sitting inside a McDonald's type of place...I got two ice cream cones upside down in cups. I sat and ate one, and looked out the window for a while, thinking how I'd love to leave the frigid northern Minnesota winters for a more temperate Vancouver when a man, who looked about 15 years older than his real age, sat down across from me. Exhausted, scared, hungry; I admit I was caught off guard. He asked if I was going to eat the other ice cream cone. I said no, you have it, do you want a sandwich...he just wanted something cold to eat. He had sat on the bus for three days from Ottawa to Vancouver. I really wished I had read up on local services because I knew this guy needed some sleep, some clean clothes and food; a shower and just the comfort in knowing someone cares. I later found out there are two service centers downtown (I'm not sure of the address but) they are Opportunity Place, and the Yukon Homeless Shelter. I believe Vancouver's YWCA does have a shelter specifically for homeless women with kids. Of course, I'm aware the larger problem has to do with drugs/alcohol, many shelters won't tolerate people coming in high or drunk, which results in the increase of street people.

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  • Written Sep 19, 2011
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