Community Reports and Study Guides

An Update on the Ongoing Opioid Crisis in the DTES

In 2017, Central City Foundation published a Community Report entitled “On the Front Lines of the Opioid Crisis: How community organizations and their staff are coping.” Six years later, we are experiencing yet another year of tragic, record-breaking numbers of deaths from overdose in BC and set out to reinterview our community partners to hear about how they are coping today.

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Connection and Belonging

One of the most significant challenges people in our inner city face is the desperate shortage of affordable housing solutions. There are simply too few places to live for people who are experiencing poverty. What’s worse, being homeless or under-housed negatively impacts every aspect of an individual’s life. When you have nowhere to sleep, every other challenge someone faces is significantly compounded. As an independent non-profit that owns social purpose real estate, Central City Foundation is uniquely positioned to reimagine housing solutions for our inner city. As a result, in 2022, Central City Foundation took the bold step to operationalize our housing society and begin operating our housing to better meet our goals and mission. Read more about this exciting news in our 2022 Community Report.

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Change can happen even in the most difficult of times

Community leadership comes in many forms and often goes unrecognized. That’s why we’re celebrating some of the amazing community partners we work with in our community in our 2021 community report. These examples of extraordinary community leadership highlight the dedication and determination of those whose support for community-led solutions and helped people in our inner city and beyond to improve the conditions of their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. These individuals stepped up to continue providing services. They developed new and innovative programs. They stood with people fighting for justice and ensured that folks in the inner city had access to income-earning opportunities, food, safety, healthcare and more.

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Being kind, calm and safe in the inner city

In early 2020, Dr. Bonnie Henry called on British Columbians to be kind, be calm, and be safe. We readily embraced this call to action alongside our community partners and feature this work in our 2020 community report. While the inner city was extremely challenged by COVID-19, we have also been truly inspired by the power of philanthropy to mobilize resources, foster connections and provide opportunities to invest in our shared love of humanity in these extraordinary times. We are still working hard to ensure the community’s needs continue to be heard and that community-led solutions receive essential support and funding.

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Are we doing everything we can to keep families in BC together?

Our 2019 community report shows that parents in BC need community-led supports to prevent losing custody of their children or to reunite families. Central City Foundation conducted in-depth interviews with 24 leaders of community service organizations in the inner city. The resulting community report details some of the long-term implications of removing kids from their families, and discusses how our child welfare system isn’t helping families. Learn how community-led solutions, like some run by our community partners, are making a difference and can lead the way to help us understand how to work with communities to create lasting solutions.

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Where others won’t invest, we will

Our 2018 update on our support of community-led solutions for the inner city reviews the many ways our donors have helped fund housing, space for health clinics, addictions treatment, employment training and many other programs. Some highlights include a major investments in inner city housing, investments to leverage our social purpose real estate and continued support for young people being treated for addiction. This year we also introduced our Hope Dialogue Series, a forum to explore issues and challenges faced by those in the inner city and imagine new and innovative solutions that improve lives.

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On the front lines of the opioid crisis

Life-saving staff and volunteers at front line community organizations are experiencing high levels of stress, trauma and burnout from the deadly opioid crisis. Our 2017 community report shows that more support is needed from other foundations, government and the broader community to begin solving the crisis. Central City Foundation conducted in-depth interviews in 2017 with 29 leaders of essential community service organizations in the inner city. All reported that the opioid epidemic is straining their operations, their staff and their clients.

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Investing in social purpose real estate yields big financial and social returns

Our 2015 community report shows how investing in social purpose real estate can be tangibly measured, and that such investments can yield significant returns for investors. Putting a dollar value on doing good things for community illustrates how Social Return on Investment (SROI) can be measured and how mission-based investing can yield significant financial and social return. Our community report shows that for every dollar spent, Central City Foundation creates $3.90 in social benefits.

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Unaffordable Spaces: how rising real estate prices are squeezing non-profit organizations

Our 2013 community report shows how Vancouver’s skyrocketing real estate prices have major implications for the inner city communities and the non-profit organizations that serve them. Central City Foundation undertook this community report to present information that will help increase dialogue about how all of us – funders, government, non-profits, donors and all neighbours – can address issues and work together to build a community in which people are safe, fed and adequately sheltered, well-educated, employed, healthy and empowered to participate in the decisions that affect their lives.

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