We’re celebrating our birthday today – 44 years young. On December 9, 1967, the door at 59 Powell St was opened for the first time and over the more than four decades since, the Dugout has been a safe haven for the people of the Downtown Eastside.
In January of 1967, Bob Burrows, founder of the Dugout, travelled to Toronto to join a collection of civic-minded community leaders at the Canadian Urban Training Project. Their aim was to develop strategies to cope with the increasing need for social assistance in Canada’s urban centres.
As part of their experience, participants were asked to spend three days and two nights on the streets of Toronto with only five dollars and whatever help they could find. It was brutally cold and there were shamefully few places where one could find refuge. It was a transformative experience for Bob and he returned home to Vancouver with an even greater commitment to make sure that every person has a safe place to feel welcome and cared for.
With the help of a small, determined group of volunteers and with the support of several local churches, the once run-down storage space at 59 Powell St. was spruced up and repurposed as a neighbourhood living room. Hundreds of people passed through the doors in the first few days and the Dugout has been serving the changing needs of the community ever since.
As we celebrate this joyful anniversary, we pause to give thanks for all of the volunteers and donors who make our mission possible. Life on the streets of Vancouver is no easier today then it was those 44 years ago and we continue to need your help. The best birthday gift you could give to us would be to follow the links on this page and make a donation today.
The generous support we receive from visitors like you allows us to continue in our mission to serve as a welcoming space in the DTES.
Please follow the links if you would like to make a donation online. Every dollar helps!
Win this very special Vancouver Canucks 2011 Playoff towel by ‘Liking’ us on Facebook before December 1st!
Signed by Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Roberto Luongo, Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa, Dan Hamhuis, Sammi Salo and Manny Malhotra, this towel is one of a kind!
Welcome to the new website for The Dugout, a local organization that provides daily meals and support services to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside community.
Find out more about our history, services and how to provide support with an online donation by clicking each of the links above.
Your support is always greatly appreciated! Have a great day!