COVID-19 Services to West End

Subject: COVID-19 Services to West End
From: Local workers and residents
Date: 22 Mar 2020

Dear City of Vancouver Councillors, Mayor Kennedy and Dr. Bonnie Henry

This is a request for sanitation support for vulnerable people in the West End and Granville Street North.

In an extremely small area surrounding St Paul’s Hospital in Downtown Vancouver there are SRO’s, a low-barrier community centre, multiple supported housing buildings, primary care clinics and a large number of seniors and unhoused people. There are no hand-washing stations available outside, in a place where many spend days and nights in close contact with others and without access to running water and soap. There are currently no accessible outdoor hand-washing stations outside of the Downtown Eastside at all.

Providing these services in this vulnerable location is more important than ever in light of multiple service closures, especially the closure of Park Board washrooms.

This is by no means an attempt to divert resources from the Downtown Eastside. The City of Vancouver has a responsibility to support those most vulnerable to an outbreak and least able to take Health Canada and Office of the Province of British Columbia recommended precautions. We are asking that resources be extended to include those in other areas of the city facing similar barriers to health and safety.

We call for immediate implementation of a minimum of three handwashing stations in this area and for increased access to services appropriate for this population.