New Service Provider Effective September 1
The Strathcona BIA is pleased to announce it has contracted Paladin Security for its mobile patrol services effective September 1.
The Strathcona Community Safety Service is available seven days a week, except statutory holidays, from 8am to 4pm. To contact the patrol, please call 604.789.4143.
Available Assistance Includes:
- Wellness checks
- Community Engagement
- Safety Education
- Community Program Information
- Needle Disposal
- Debris Reporting
*For emergencies requiring police, fire or ambulance, please contact 911
The program is built around a community-based model of safety and revolves around three core areas:
Customer Service – approachable, interactive, and compassionate patrollers who respond quickly to your needs. Patrollers on duty will have non-violent crisis intervention and mental illness training, and minimum one person on shift will have First Aid and Naloxone training.
Relationship Building – with neighbourhood businesses, organizations, and residents. Patrollers will work to establish collaborative relationships with service providers and agencies who provide peer-led and place-based services and resources.
Education – promote awareness of how area businesses and residents can enhance their own safety.
For more information please contact the SBIA office at 604.258.2727
The Strathcona BIA Renewal process has concluded. On March 8, 2017 City Council approved the renewal term of seven years through 2024 and the funding cap.
During the various consultation sessions members identified many key priorities such as beautification initiatives and public perception of the area, as well as wanting to see continued investment in safety, property maintenance and cleaning programs.
Now that the process has wrapped up we can look ahead and begin evaluating and implementing additional programs such as:
- Beautification projects that could include public art pieces like installations, sculptures, murals, upgraded lighting etc.
- Pilot program to address and support members with debris on private property including hazardous material.
- Sustainable transportation advocacy plan that incorporates parking, movement of goods and people and curbside uses.
- Implementation of a Community Policing Centre on East Hastings.
- Strengthen our advocacy work at various government levels.
Thank you to all our members for your ongoing support, especially those who take the time to submit feedback and attend working sessions. Your feedback is what shapes the programming.
We look forward to working with, and on your behalf to build a thriving mixed-use, inclusive, and resilient local economy.
Photo credit: Kellan Higgins
The Holiday Social at Pat’s Pub in December was a huge success. Around 100 SBIA members and partners came out to enjoy some holiday cheer. Attendees enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere created by Pat’s Pub, great beer from onsite Hastings Mill Brewing Company, yummy bites from Railtown Catering, and of course the great company of SBIA members and partners. It is safe to say we had the best prizes of any holiday party in town, generously donated by SBIA members. The grand prize quiz tradition was back with a very difficult set of questions this year. Trumps Fine foods continued their lucky prize winning streak from previous years and did a sweep of the two grand prizes. Savoury Chef was the SBIA member winner of the Recycle In Strathcona gift certificate, and are excited to take advantage of some free recycling services. Thank you to all of our members and partners that came out to the holiday social this year, what an enjoyable time as always!
And a special thanks to the following members for providing door prizes for the event:
SBIA Open Letter to Vancouver Coastal Health and City Council – Supervised Injection Sites Consultation Process
The SBIA has penned an open letter to Vancouver Coastal Health and City Council regarding recent public consultations spearheaded by Vancouver Coastal Health with respect to the two new supervised injection sites in our community. A copy of the letter is below or click HERE to view our op-ed published in the Vancouver Sun.
Proposed locations for the sites are:
- The new DTES Mental Health and Substance Use Drop-In-Centre at 528 Powell
- The Heatley Integrated Health Centre at 330 Heatley
An open letter to Vancouver City Council and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH)
On September 21st, Vancouver Coastal Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer announced the location of two new proposed supervised injection sites for the Downtown Eastside (DTES), both of which are slated to open in early 2017 in Strathcona. As the representative body of 450 businesses, the Strathcona Business Improvement Association (SBIA) welcomes the opportunity for meaningful consultation on this important matter, because what our community comprising 9,000 residents and 7,000 employees has been afforded to-date borders on shameful.
With three open houses scheduled in the middle of the work day, during the middle of the week, we gather that “official” consultation on this matter is now considered complete. This raises concern for us, not to mention the broader question as to whether this is the type of process Vancouverites can expect from Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) when proposing supervised injection sites in other neighbourhoods.
In a hurry to prepare applications in response to a grave increase in overdose deaths throughout the city, VCH raced through the required process. Only a handful of the business owners and residents we work with were aware of the VCH-led open houses or had an opportunity to attend the sessions and provide input. The session I attended had less than twelve participants present.
The SBIA supports supervised injection sites and recognizes the need for these facilities, but they represent just one pillar of an overarching strategy. What is not clear at this juncture is what additional resources will be provided to support these new sites and ensure the safety of those who will use and work in them, as well as Strathcona residents, customers, and business owners who live, work and play in the community where these sites will soon operate.
As the city?s oldest neighbourhood, Strathcona has deep roots in the business community of modern Vancouver, serving as a gateway to the city for those arriving by road, sea and rail since the mid 1800?s. A “starter neighbourhood” historically, Strathcona remains a vibrant mix of industrial businesses and single family homes despite a noticeable lack of traditional amenities such as grocery stores, parks, neighbourhood pharmacies and walk-in health clinics, express transit service, sports fields, public pools or ice rinks, a community police centre, or even a post office.
Members of the SBIA are proud to be part of the DTES. However, ongoing public health issues like overdose related deaths in the area have prompted the need for renewed and meaningful dialogue with Vancouver?s policy makers on our urgent resourcing needs. Rubber stamping policies that address one issue, albeit a critical one, will not solve the broader problems communities will encounter, and could easily create new ones.
Strathcona business owners already cite safety as a primary concern due to an increase in homelessness, open substance use, and often, misinformation about the issues at hand. Currently, the Vancouver Police Department?s DTES BEAT Patrol ends at Gore Street, the border of Strathcona, but there were no indications at the VCH open houses that additional resources will be directed to the help the VPD extend their patrol into Strathcona, which experiences the same issues that are prevalent a few blocks away.
Supervised injection sites cannot exist in a silo, removed from the broader community fabric, especially amongst the mix of businesses and homes bordering the two new sites. In order to truly move the dial on issues that affect all Vancouver neighbourhoods, we need to work together – government, business, residents and advocates – to develop holistic approaches that address the health challenges we currently face. This begins with up-front, open and collaborative stakeholder engagement to ensure the community understands the importance and impact of supervised injection sites, and continues with a multipronged approach to both harm reduction and safety.
The Strathcona Business Improvement Association welcomes the opportunity to host a working session with members of Vancouver City Council, Vancouver Coastal Health and any business owner, resident, or stakeholder that wishes to build a better city.
We hope you will be in touch.
Strathcona Business Improvement Association
On Wednesday, December 11 the Strathcona BIA held our Annual Holiday Social at Chapel Arts. The event saw a turn-out of over 75 people and was a great opportunity for business owners, community stakeholders and SBIA partner organizations to network and build relationships.
We would like to thank the following generous member businesses and partner organizations for providing donations for our Holiday Social:
Floral & Hardy Edible Plants
G&F Financial Group
Sunrise Soya Foods
The Butler Did It Catering Co.
Thank you to everyone who attended and look forward to working with you in 2014!