We work together with seniors living in the downtown south and the downtown eastside to build and strengthen our community by developing a healthy community spirit that enables seniors to help themselves, and one another.
VSMS works to improve the lives of seniors living in SRA (Single Room Accommodation) units by establishing social support systems, run by the seniors themselves.
The Seniors Centre is a drop-in facility that provides a safe, friendly “living room” environment for seniors coming together to dine (at a nominal fee), relax, play games, and access informational resources that are central to their quality of life.
The Vancouver Second Mile Society operates three outreach programs:
- The Neighbourhood Helpers Project - Downtown Eastside(NHP-DE)
- The Neighbourhood Helpers Project - Downtown South (NHP-DS)
- The Neighbourhood Helpers Chinese Outreach Program (NHCOP)
Our mandate is to improve the quality of life for seniors and people with disabilities living in SRO (single room occupancy) hotels, rooming houses and low-income housing.
Why We Care:
- The downtown core, including downtown east and downtown south, is home to a vast population of low-income seniors.
- Our seniors receive minimal financial support from the government, and often no support from family members.
- For the truly impoverished seniors of Vancouver, although their living space is often no larger than 10 square feet, there is little motivation to venture outside their tiny living quarters.
- Most do not have adequate cooking facilities and must rely on one hotplate for all their cooking needs. Some people do not even have a fridge.
- Their bathrooms are often shared facilities with an average of 25 people to one bathroom.
- Many seniors live in isolation with no one to visit and care for them except other neighbours who are also struggling with poverty issues.
- The average life expectancy for people in the DTES is 57 years. That's why the designated age for seniors in this community is 45 years old.
- There is often no extra money for traveling about town as well as a fear of judgment about their poverty if they leave the community.
- These seniors are left to live their final years in solitude and hardship - forgotten by the world around them.
Location: Vancouver, Canada