Red Dress Day 2024

Casey Desjarlais, co-founder of Decolonial Clothing Co., and Avery Delaney, Indigenous Outreach Coordinator for FIRST UNITED, with the FIRST UNITED Red Dress Day shirt and tote bag (with illustrations by Shadae Johnson and Iyanla Jensen-Johnson). Today, FIRST UNITED staff will be gathering in honour of Red Dress Day (which takes place on May 5), otherwise […]

BC Government Announces New Measures to Protect Renters

On Tuesday, the BC Government announced a new bill that addresses several recommendations made in FIRST UNITED’s law reform platform “Everyone Needs a Home: Solutions for Preventing Homelessness, Evictions, and Displacement.” We were pleased when BC Housing Minister Ravi Khalon announced proposed amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) that include a number of renter […]

Good Friday: The Gift of Grief

A Good Friday message from Lauren Sanders, Indigenous Spiritual Care Chaplain: Hew,niťtena kinwa? anwesėśhėnaLauren nŤėshnēkasote ke xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Sḵwx̱wú7mesh səlilwətaɬ eťtēŤayanÉhé neshnabe nŤew. mshkodani bodéwadmi mine kiikaapoa nŤēbenŤagwïs Hi there! How are you? I’m okay. My name is Lauren. I am the Indigenous Spiritual Care Chaplain at FIRST UNITED. I live on the land of the […]

We received an urgent call. Here’s what we did.

On a frigid afternoon this past December, we received an urgent phone call. There was a mother cradling her newborn, desperately waiting outside Carnegie Outreach Centre to get a birth certificate for her baby. Could FIRST UNITED help spare Mom and baby a long wait in near freezing temperatures? Our response was immediate: yes, we […]

Coldest Night of the Year 2024 Recap

This year’s Coldest Night of the Year was a massive, record-breaking success, and it’s all thanks to this wonderful community who came out to walk in the rain, fundraise, and donate to support the Downtown Eastside. Thanks to the collective effort of everyone who participated, we raised a total of $112,725—and counting! That’s the most […]

BC Government Commits to Protecting Renters from Bad-Faith Evictions

On Wednesday, BC’s Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin delivered the throne speech and drew specific attention to an issue that we’ve been working and advocating on for over a year: protecting renters and ending bad-faith evictions.  Though details on implementation were not provided, the speech promised that action will be taken in this legislative session. Last […]

Thank you for making this an amazing Christmas!

A message from Amanda Burrows, Executive Director: I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to you—our community of values-aligned supporters—for joining us this Christmas to make an impact on the Downtown Eastside. I’m delighted to share that this has been our biggest Christmas campaign ever, and it’s thanks to you. Together, for our programs […]

Thank You Thursday: Fourth Annual Shelter Gala Highlights

We hosted our fourth annual GivingTuesday Shelter Gala this week, and it was an incredible day of celebrating the resilience and strength of our neighbours in the Downtown Eastside. We’re so happy to share that we’ve received over $62,000 in donations for our GivingTuesday Shelter Gala! GivingTuesday is such a special day here at FIRST […]

Canada supports 103 new affordable homes in Vancouver at 320 E Hastings

FIRST UNITED Executive Director Amanda Burrows (centre) pictured with Vancouver City Councillors Lenny Zhou, Rebecca Bligh, Lisa Dominato, Mike Klassen, and Christine Boyle, Lu’ma Native Housing Society President Dave Baspaly, and Vancouver-Mount Pleasant MLA Joan Phillip. Photo by Maxine Bulloch. Vancouver, British Columbia, November 6, 2023 Construction is underway on 103 units for Indigenous residents and […]

A Year of the FIRST Food Truck

“We’ve had community members tell us, ‘It’s amazing that you’re still able to provide food while your building is being redeveloped,” shared Cristien Donhuysen, Program Manager.  It’s been over a year since we’ve launched our FIRST Food Truck, which provides free meals to Downtown Eastside community members every weekday at lunchtime. Through the food truck, […]