Health authority closes DTES Health Contact Centre

VANCOUVER, May 3 /CNW/ - The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority is closing a drop-in centre that has been used by residents of the Downtown Eastside for many years.

"The closure of the Contact Centre is a direct hit on the people who desperately need these services," said Brenda Brown, the chair of the BCGEU's health services component. "The closure of this facility alone, means over 100 people a day will be scattered about, looking for some stability in their lives."

"Make no mistake, this closure is dramatic and will hurt the very people who need these services," said Brown. "I am very concerned about what will happen with the many clients these services have dealt with."

The closure of the Health Contact Centre, which has been operating since early 2000, provides drop-in services for people who need washrooms, life skills advice and some nursing care. Eleven regular staff and 20 casual staff will lose their jobs today.

The BCGEU will be meeting with its members who have been impacted by the cuts to see what their employment alternatives might be.

SOURCE B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union

For further information: For further information: Brian Gardiner, BCGEU Communications, (604) 291-9611

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