Our Mission & Values
The mission of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre (DEWC) is to provide a safe, non-judgmental environment for self-identifying women (cis, trans, 2S), from all walks of life, who live and/or work in the Downtown Eastside. To achieve this goal, DEWC provides supportive surroundings with meals, counseling, advocacy, and programs which nurture and empower members.
- Provide a safe, comfortable environment for all women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside
- Provide basic need services, programs, specialized supports, and emergency shelter services
- Provide recreation and self-help rehabilitation programs to help alleviate the lack of proper facilities in the area
- Act as a source of information by assisting women with referrals concerning their basic needs
- Educate the general public as to conditions and issues concerning women in the area
- Work towards constructive social change in the areas of the economic and social wellbeing of women in the area
DEWC is a membership-driven organization where all women accessing our services are given a vote and a voice to steer our services and programs. We believe women are the experts in their own lives. Every woman is entitled to the basic necessities of life, including safety, autonomy, nutrition, stable housing, clothing, education, and other practical needs.
DEWC has an anti-racism and anti-poverty mandate. We understand that poverty is systemic, not the problem of an individual. We are a feminist organization with feminism as our guiding philosophy. We respect and welcome cultural diversity; each woman’s strengths and experiences are valued and respected. We believe every woman is entitled to self-determination, self-respect, self-esteem and safety. We define “woman” as anyone who identifies and lives as a woman including cis and transgender women.