The City of Vancouver announced on Wednesday that it would be partially reopening several “vital” community centres in Downtown Vancouver and the Downtown Eastside (DTES).
Carnegie, Gathering Place, and Evelyne Saller Community Centre are reopening to offer essential services and increased washroom access to residents in need. The community centres mainly focus on serving the city’s vulnerable population, including those with lower income, disabilities, and people who experience homelessness.
Specifically, the three centres offer hand-washing and sanitization options, a meal service several times a day, a daily shower service, laundry service, and a drop-in space. Washroom access is also available throughout most of the day.
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Sandra Singh, the City of Vancouver’s General Manager of Arts, Culture, and Community Services, says that the reopening is a “positive step” to restoring services and social connections for affected residents.
She adds that since the start of the pandemic, over 128,000 takeout meals have been served to community centre patrons, as well as 6,500 warm showers and 5,300 loads of laundry.
Outdoor eating and seating areas have also been installed outside Gathering Place and Evelyne Saller community centre.