This July, EMBERS Eastside Works launched the Chinatown Community Stewardship Program in partnership with the Chinatown BIA and the City of Vancouver. Over 20 community members were hired to help businesses by responding to community concerns around safety, including needle removal, and providing support for the most barriered population in the area.
Anne Lam is an Executive Producer of a multimedia theater production project focusing on Chinatown. As someone invested in the well-being and preservation of the Chinatown community, Anne hopes that being part of the Chinatown Community Stewardship Program will provide insights to the issues and concerns of the storefronts in the area. As one of the supervisors of the Chinatown Stewardship Program, she has been instrumental with helping Eastside Works coordinate tasks and provide extra support for workers.
Fluent in both Cantonese and Mandarin, Anne and the rest of the stewards has already had the opportunity to hear many of the these issues first-hand, identifying that businesses hope for both day-to-day improvements in the community as well as long term changes. On a daily basis, storefronts voiced a need to respond to vandalism, theft, needles, waste, loiterers, and campers that have an affect on business flow.
Anne and community members of the Chinatown Community Stewardship Program have dedicated their efforts to these concerns, picking up a total of 135 needles over 5 days, with the Dr. Sun Gardens area and Shanghai Alley seeing an increased numbers.
The stewards have dedicated their efforts to these concerns, picking up a total of 135 needles over 5 days, with the Dr. Sun Gardens area and Shanghai Alley seeing an increased numbers.
“I finally get the first hand experience of the Downtown Eastside community spirit,” says Anne speaking about the cordial cooperation of members of the Downtown Eastside. Anne is also impressed by the passion and engaged attitudes of the stewards of the program.
“I am moved by the devotion of the team members, and the professional project planning of Eastside Works,” Anne says. “I look forward to continue working with businesses and stewards to try to make Chinatown safer for everyone,” she adds.
In the next few weeks, Anne is interested in learning how to provide support to businesses for one-off incidents, including alleyway fires, graffiti and break-ins. “I look forward to continue working with businesses and stewards to try to make Chinatown safer for everyone,” she says.