We took a rare look beyond the public world many of us see on the Downtown Eastside – as the Drug Users Resource Centre opened its doors to the public for an open house today.
Some services may be transitioning to another centre, and that has staff and their clients concerned about the changes, including Dianne Tobin who works at the centre.
“People that wouldn’t get services anywhere else (who’d) fall through the cracks, right? They stumble in here and we get them ID, we get them whatever they need to move forward.”
Tobin says around 1000 people drop into the centre every day.
Some of the services will be moving to another centre nearby, but what is or isn’t moving still seemed unclear to the people we spoke to.
One of the centre’s clients is Tara, who says the centre is vital for her and her friends there.
“They’re getting help for the things that they want to do; not being on drugs, right?”
“This place helps people get off drugs.”
If it wasn’t for the centre, Tara says she doesn’t know where she’d be.
“I don’t know, I’d be lost.”
These blokes tell me the community here is a family, say they don't know where they'd be without the centre. pic.twitter.com/lhCsMcUFps— Jeremy Lye (@JJLye980) June 24, 2016
Making a meth pipe -this is a cleaner & far cheaper method for users who would have to look on the street otherwise pic.twitter.com/9TY3JE3cKA— Jeremy Lye (@JJLye980) June 24, 2016
The centre sees 1000 visits a day, had been facing closure but staff say some services relocating, with some anxiety pic.twitter.com/yvXMLMDOSx— Jeremy Lye (@JJLye980) June 24, 2016
About to take a tour with Dianne of the Drug Users Resource Centre in the DTES. Rare look at a side rarely seen pic.twitter.com/8Gb9XxUBjs— Jeremy Lye (@JJLye980) June 24, 2016