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Space to Empower

Space to Empower

The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre looks to acquire more safe spaces for women in need.

DEWC needs your help.

Due to COVID-19 physical distancing guidelines, the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre has had to drastically limit the amount of women allowed in the space. Typically, the DEWC Drop-in Centre would be able to host up to 450 women per day. Now, due to COVID-19 guidelines, no more than 50 people can access the Centre at a time – including staff and volunteers needed for its operation.

DEWC’s second site, the 24-hour Emergency Shelter location (412 E Cordova St.) has had to reduce their beds to 50 (from 57 beds) and has also had to temporarily suspended drop-in services, which saw more than 150 women using the space daily.

The opioid crisis, homelessness, and violence against women have only been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. Women have had very limited resources available to them and as we enter the cold and rainy season, the crisis in the Downtown Eastside is quickly escalating.

“We know that a woman died recently outside of the street market and she was there for quite a while before anyone noticed her. That’s one of the instances where had she had a safe place to go, she might not have died, or she might have been noticed – it might’ve been different.” – Andrea Glickman, DEWC Board Member.

The DEWC is now looking for additional spaces in the Downtown Eastside to restore our ability to provide women with shelter, access resources, and feel a sense of safety and dignity during these times, while ensuring physical distancing.

We are calling on our supporters to help DEWC create additional satellite centres and extended services during this time of need.

Any donations dedicated to our greatest need will go towards creating these spaces.

Planned improvements/additional space acquisitions:

  1. Acquiring 2 additional drop-in spaces which offer respite, basic need services, including nutritious meals, safe washrooms and showers, programming, and supports.
  2. Create outdoor patio space in front of the existing drop-in centre with tents, tables, chairs, and heaters.
  3. Move our  administrative office out of 398 Powell Street  and create a wellness space for women offering a drop in safe respite space 16 hours per day,   (project completed October 5th, 2020)
  4. Offering programming and workshops  in community spaces within the neighbourhood

Our hope is to help women in the Downtown Eastside continue to safely access the resources they need while ensuring physical distancing can be achieved. Your donations will directly provide respite to women in need during these turbulent times.

Donation inquiries can be directed to our Fund Development Team at: engagement@dewc.ca or 604-681-8480 x 350.

Donate online or by cheque to support women and children of the Downtown Eastside.

Your support means the world to women in need.