Sole Comfort

Over 20 years ago, Bruce Cowburn, former FIRST UNITED staff member, was brought to tears when he witnessed our Foot Care Program in action for the first time. Bruce described the sight, as quoted in Hope Lives Here: A History of Vancouver’s First United Church by Bob Burrows, saying: “There was a [community member] playing […]

The Road to Redevelopment

Timeline In 2017, community engagement, redevelopment and capital campaign feasibility studies set the stage for an incredibly ambitious project— the redevelopment of our site at 320 E Hastings. Five years later, site work got underway 2022 April– Street Use and Salvage & Abatement permits are received, clearing the way for preliminary work to begin on […]

Still a Sanctuary in the Heart of the Downtown Eastside

There is something notably different about East Hastings these days. The corner at Gore is missing a recognizable landmark—FIRST UNITED’s old church building. That’s because we’re currently undergoing a redevelopment, demolishing the old building to make way for a new purpose-built facility that will better serve the current and growing needs of the Downtown Eastside. […]

Summer Newsletter: A Retrospective On Our Building

Honouring the History of Our Old Building We’ve dedicated this summer edition of First Things First to our former building—to honour its history and legacy in the Downtown Eastside. Read just some of the significant events and milestones that took place in our old building. Featured photo by Walter E. Frost 1973 (City of Vancouver […]

Revisiting Our Totem Pole Ceremony

Our building at 320 East Hastings is currently being demolished and we’re feeling a little nostalgic. Just a little over a year ago, we were moving our programs out of our old building to prepare for hazardous material removal and demolition. Part of that preparation was safely moving the totem pole that was in our […]

Final Steps Through the Old FIRST

The bricks of our building are starting to come down this week. Before officially saying goodbye, we made sure to do a final walk through what’s left of the building that’s meant so much to so many. If you haven’t already, you can also subscribe to our email list to ensure that you’re getting all […]

BC Eviction Mapping: Justice Alongside Charity

Last week we released our initial findings from the BC Eviction Mapping project. The project is the first of its kind in BC, and our first official systems change project that challenges the systems that keep people trapped in cycles of poverty, homelessness, and marginalization. Work on this project began almost a year ago—a testament […]

First United Church Social Housing Society has transferred ownership to Sch’eyk Housing Society, operated by Lu’ma Native Housing Society

Today we are sharing that First United Church Social Housing Society (FUCSHS) has transferred ownership to Sch’eyk Housing Society, operated by Lu’ma Native Housing Society. The decision for Lu’ma to operate the Housing Society came after careful consideration and negotiation between FUCSHS Board and staff leadership of FUCSHS, and leadership from Lu’ma Native Housing Society. […]