December 17, 2021
The venerable women's program moves into the renovated commercial space in the Dodson
It has long been a gathering place – for many years a pub and then a conference centre. Now, the 3,000-sq.-ft. commercial space in the Dodson is moving forward as a drop-in space for women. Following an extensive renovation, the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre will now offer its clients storage, use of computers, a TV lounge, showers, washrooms, laundry, and meals in a community kitchen. The space also includes offices and a clothing and shoe centre.
The Dodson space will be open from noon to 10 pm, extending the hours of the DEWC drop-in at 302 Columbia Street. Among the services provided by the women’s centre are counselling, advocacy, cultural programming, housing outreach, emergency shelter, skills development, meals, and Indigenous women’s projects. The women’s centre serves more than 500 women every day.
The COVID-19 pandemic drastically increased the need for the DEWC services as safe spaces were closed down and more women were forced outside. Many women who access the centre’s services have experienced trauma, abuse, poverty and/or homelessness. In the Downtown Eastside, half of women surveyed named the DEWC as the place where they feel safest.
Anhart is proud to welcome the DEWC to the Dodson!