Happy 41st Birthday, DEWC!
On March 1, 1978, the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre was officially incorporated as a charitable non-profit (although prior to these years, women were serving soup, offering support, and connecting with one another in various ways). Since then, we’ve seen hundreds of women access our services, become part of our community, and shape our story.
This year, 150 hard-to-house women found housing.
Women of DEWC have mourned many losses, spoken truth, marched and rallied, celebrated together, been and become family. We honour the leadership and legacy of Indigenous women, matriarchs, Elders, Chinese women and seniors, staff and volunteers, donors and supporters in creating what Carol, long-time community leader and Victim Services Worker, calls “a circle of healing.”
DEWC serves upwards of 3025 meals per week
Today, more than five hundred women come through the doors of DEWC’s drop-in centre and emergency shelter daily, citing the Centre as one of the places they feel safest. We distribute tens of thousands of toiletries and articles of clothing, working with women on skills development, housing, advocacy, HIV case management, and victim services. We host cultural programming, healing circles, and the Power of Women group, in which women organize and advocate for themselves and for systemic change.
Centre members contribute over 12,096 volunteer hours annually through out Skills Development program.
As DEWC turns 41, we continue to dream of – and work toward – a world in which all women are free of violence, poverty, exploitation and inequality. With love and memory, we grieve the many losses in our community, and with joy, we celebrate the phenomenal women of the Downtown Eastside.