Tuesday Morning Paragraph – Acceptance and Uniqueness

unity-diane

Carnegie Community Action Project

401 Main Street, Vancouver, V6A 2T7

(604) 839-0379

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dear Mayor and Council,

Why should we preserve the Downtown Eastside as a low-income community?

What about the “feel” of the DTES? If condos overwhelm low-income housing in the DTES, how will current residents “feel” about their community? Here are some quotes from the Carnegie Action Projects mapping sessions:

Re: condo owners: “These people are gonna look down on us…they think they are so much better than us.”

Re: Gastown: “All the cobblestones and the shops I could never shop at…”

Re: richer neighbourhoods: “You don’t get the same acceptance from those communities. We’re on no levels here and I don’t know anywhere else where that happens.”

“I’ve only been here for a year but it feels like home. No one judges you here. The people who live here are welcoming. A lot of good people here. Talented people. It’s nicer to be here than on the streets of North Vancouver.”

“What I like about living here is I’m not discriminated by the way I look and my disabilities.”

“Carnegie kitchen was my first volunteer position. It was the first time in my life that I was open and honest about my drug addiction. When I told them in the kitchen, they didn’t judge me and accepted me. It was a big step towards my recovery. It’s been 4 years.”

“It’s the first place I’ve ever found with people who are comfortable with who I am. People don’t question who you are. A lot of acceptance here.”

(These Tuesday morning paragraphs are brought to you by the Carnegie Community Action Project to help you understand why the DTES should continue to be a low-income community and not be overwhelmed with condos.)