Employ To Empower


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What Do We Advocate For?

We act as advocates for the Downtown Eastside across the wider Vancouver community. Our goal through advocacy is to bring about positive social change for residents of the Downtown Eastside, by challenging common misperceptions and shifting the current stigma. We envision a Downtown Eastside community free of stigma, where residents are seen, heard and validated.

Our Initiatives


The entrepreneurs can share their stories and challenges of creating a business while facing social barriers.

The Cardboard Project

The Cardboard Project centres around the unveiling of a unique artwork created using messages written on cardboard, contributed by the Downtown Eastside community.


Entrepreneurs in our program are given the opportunity to share their work, abilities, and diverse stories at exhibitions throughout the year.

Workshops and Documentaries

Entrepreneurs in our program are allowed to improve their speaking skills and get meaningful connections with other communities.


Group conversations will help entrepreneurs stay closer to businesses and organizations interested in their business.

About The Cardboard Project

Cardboard Project event’s feature cardboard and cardboard responses in an artistically creative way and in order to spread important messages.

The Cardboard Project is a unique event that was inspired by the culture of individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty, who often write messages and stories on pieces of cardboard. The Cardboard Project features a unique artwork, created using messages written on cardboard. These messages respond to a different question every year, focusing on human connection, recovery, wisdom, community, listening, spirituality, and other themes. The Cardboard Project also features talks by thought leaders, discussions with our members, experiences inviting us all to connect, and an exhibition of our members’ artistic creations. The overall goal of the Cardboard Project is to dismantle prevailing negative stigmas and strive towards a Downtown Eastside neighbourhood where members are seen, heard, and validated, while feeling connected to the greater community.


Every year, we partner with private schools like Mulgrave and St. Georges and engage entrepreneurs to offer workshops to young students to shift the stigma. Over the past two years, we’ve impacted 30+ students and engaged 15+ entrepreneurs.


Coming soon November 2022 funded by BC Housing.


Funded by City of Vancouver Homelessness Action Grant, our podcasts will introduce an anti-stigma education / awareness-building podcast series, with the goal of countering inaccurate stereotypes and negative public attitudes regarding the DTES.

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