This is the 15th in the series of reports “Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside: Past and Present.” The Downtown Eastside is a neighbourhood with severe issues, amongst them, poverty, homelessness and drug overdose, all of which have intensified with the pandemic.
This week we interview Eliza McCullough, legal advocate for women in the Downtown Eastside and former program manager.
McCullough is no stranger to life on the street. As a youth she lived in the DTES and partied with the Granville Street kids. When given the opportunity to live in supportive housing, she took it, but she didn’t turn her back on her friends.
She has built her professional career on support work and helping women in similar situations to her. With an abundance of caution for confidentiality concerns, she won’t name the organization she works for, but goes into some detail about the work that she does.
The Downtown Eastside, and the support programs and drug issues associated with it, is not for everybody. Some people don’t agree with people congregating on the street or with the concentration of services provided in the area. McCullough explains her take on why the neighbourhood exists the way it does, and a bit about the people who make up the neighbourhood and why she has made a career supporting it.
Watch the full series here.
Jase Tanner has worked in the film industry for 30 years where he frequently serves as a shop steward. During this time he’s been active in social justice issues and has produced a handful of short, web-based documentaries.
Emma Gregory recently graduated the Langara journalism program. She is interested in animals, agriculture, power dynamics, and the difference between free trade and fair trade. She believes that she is being spied on by her computer, but only for the mundane purpose of market research.