Building dignity in Vancouver

Vancouver, British Columbia

For the people in the Downtown Eastside neighborhood in Vancouver, British Columbia, hope can seem distant. The neighborhood is infamous for rampant drug use, homelessness, and poverty. And since 1992, Mission Possible, a Nazarene Compassionate Ministry Center, has served right in the middle of it.

In the complicated world of development and empowerment, it would be easy to get lost in the facts. Of the approximately 18,000 who call Downtown Eastside home, about 10,000 are living in poverty. That’s over half of the population who struggles to make ends meet. Many struggle with addiction, too. Emergency services receive dozens of calls each day addressing drug overdose. 

In the 25 years it’s been serving the Downtown Eastside, Mission Possible has transformed to better serve the community. About ten years ago, the organization started developing employment opportunities for the people of Downtown Eastside. 

Rather than only providing for physical needs, the group wanted to address the dignity that everyone – no matter where they were in life – inherently has. Matthew Smedley, the organization’s executive director and CEO, says that their main goal is to make a difference for the neighborhood’s residents. 

For the rest of this story, see NCM Magazine

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