Vancouver is known to be one of the most beautiful cities around the world, with breathtaking mountain views, spectacular parks, and generous giving people, it almost makes it hard to comprehend that the downtown east side is part of this admirable city. Walking into those streets is described as stepping into a new world. Filled with sorrow, addictions, and life struggles, it tugs at the heartstrings of those who come across this street.
3,700 people are said to be living in Vancouver without a home, and while some individuals believe that it’s their fault for ending up the way they did, but could not be more mistaken. In fact, most people fought a hard battle before they got there. Addiction researcher Dr. Michael Krausz from UBC found that 83% have a substance abuse problem, 93% have a current mental disorder and 85% experienced emotional or physical abuse in their childhood. Because of this, most people find themselves living on the streets with no hope. On top of that, we are living in one of the most expensive cities in the world making it even tougher on a the everyday person to sustain a stable financial life.
So why should you care? I’m here to give my two cents in why you shouldn’t ignore this relevant subject with answering two of the most common asked questions.
1) Why should youth care?
2) And what you can do to help?
The majority of youth are taught by their parents that the Downtown East Side is a sketchy and dangerous place, and we are used to hearing negative things about people that inhabit this area. However have you ever tried to take a step out of your life and into theirs to see the struggles they have faced? Have you ever taken a step into the streets to realize the amount of depth and history between those walls? These people are just like us, we are all equal, anything else that places you above anyone else is purely artificial. We as the youth are the people that are going to have to face this every year, so why not take a step into changing it for the better?
Youth today have been told that we have the power to create change, but rarely are they taught on how to do it, so here is how you as the youth of today can make a difference.
Many organizations have formed in order to end street homelessness by 2015 in Vancouver, one of these being Mission Possible. Mission Possible is a Christian humanitarian agency that aspires to make a difference in peoples lives. One way in which they are achieving this is by creating jobs that lead to lasting changes. They strive to provide friendship, relational support, help in taking the next step towards a renewed life, providing stability, love and support. For as humans we all deserve love, no matter who we are, where we come from, or what our problem is we all deserve to be wanted. Mission Possible provides that to struggling addicts in Downtown East Side. A chance for them to see there are people in the world that want to see them succeed even though they don’t believe they can succeed themselves. Mission Possible strongly believes that building deep relationships with the people creates a higher opportunity to move into life change. For in the end we are all one in the same striving for the same purpose, a happy life.