Since 2008, The Rainier Hotel has operated as a partnership between the PHS Community Services Society, the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), and The Ministry of Health (HC). As of December 3, 2012, VCH and Health Canada have declined to continue funding this vital project.
This will reduce the Rainier to SRO status and the only women’s treatment centre in the Downtown Eastside will be lost.
For the past four years the Rainier has been incredibly successful in providing stabilization and treatment for substance dependency, mental health, and primary health care needs.
On Tuesday, December 18th, “the mourners” as we were dubbed, cried, wailed, danced, sang, dragged our feet, stomped, stode and laughed for the 10km pilgremage from Vancouver’s Downtown eastside to MLA Christie Clark’s office on the Westside.
Some 400 people came out to march en masse protesting the loss of funding to the Rainier hotel and to also honor and celebrate of the strength and dignity of the woman in the DTES.
For more info and photos about the Rainier Hotel and the march; click here.
For more information about the march; click here.
Watch Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs speak to the 300 plus crowd in front of the constituency office of Premier Christy Clark. Women of the Rainier Hotel, along with community supporters walked 10k from Carrall and Cordova to Kitsilano to deliver 40 coffins and ask the BC Government to restore funding for the only women’s only treatment centre in the Downtown Eastside.
Special thanks to the Brothers Arntzen Brass band, and to the Portland Hotel Society’s organizers for facilitating this powerful day and message.