VANCOUVER, Oct. 2, 2012 /CNW/ - From Mon. Oct. 8 to Sun. Oct. 14, hundreds of people from across Metro Vancouver will find themselves walking on the Downtown Eastside. They are investing two hours to learn about the neighbourhood and its history, guided by a local resident or via specially developed technology through their cell phone.
Developed at Union Gospel Mission, for Homelessness Action Week, this project involves partnership from Mission Possible, City of Vancouver and local service providers to promote education and build awareness. It also offers employment to those with barriers in an empowering and dignified manner.
Called "the Eastside Stride", the walk is the exact opposite of poverty tourism. It takes participants through Oppenheimer, Strathcona, Gastown, Chinatown, and the Hastings Corridor. Its purpose is to show the beauty, rich history, and diverse groups that comprise the neighbourhoods while considering some of the issues that have impacted the area for a long time. This opportunity is available at no charge to participants.
"Most people are aware that Vancouver has a homelessness problem and it's concentrated in the Downtown Eastside," says Keela Keeping, UGM spokesperson. "There are diverse opinions regarding these issues and the people that live here, but the average person may have very little real knowledge of this community, past or present. If we want sustained solutions to the major issues here, then the Downtown Eastside needs to be truly embraced as a valued part of Vancouver. And that starts with getting to know the neighbourhood."
Take the tour two ways: guided, in-person or via the audio tour through your cell phone with headphones. Guided tours are pre-arranged - must sign-up online. Audio Tours are taken anytime during the daylight hours of HAW. To sign-up, learn more, or to access the audio tour: www.ugm.ca/haw. Need help? (604) 253-3323.
SOURCE: Union Gospel Mission
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