Learn more about how the CCRN got started and where we are now.

Our Story

Emerging amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the CCRN is a dynamic hub for communication, collaboration, and rapid response. It began in the early days of the crisis, aiming to mobilize, share vital information, and coordinate actions to address the evolving public health emergency in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). Many residents struggled with housing instability and food insecurity and relied on essential services provided by on-the-ground community organizations. Recognizing these unique needs, the CCRN was established.

The CCRN fostered collaborative, community-led initiatives focused on food security, PPE distribution, public washrooms access, and respite sites. Through the CCRN, frontline organizations partnered with social enterprises to provide 2,200 daily meals to occupants in Single Room Occupancy (SROs). Additionally, the CCRN created a comprehensive shelter list and a community PPE distribution hub for the DTES community. Collaborative funding expanded women-only and co-ed respite sites and improved harm reduction services.

The CCRN has become a crucial social infrastructure in the DTES, facilitating information exchange, connecting diverse stakeholders and fostering collaboration. It now addresses various community challenges beyond the pandemic including but not limited to:

  • Government Advocacy
  • Public Health Response
  • The Housing and Affordability Crisis
  • Community Economic Development
  • The overdose crisis from poisoned drugsupply
  • Gender-based Violence
  • Community Safety
  • Decriminalizing Poverty

We meet weekly, offering short and long-term solutions while maintaining strong community partnerships. The CCRN continues to be an example of community collaboration, demonstrating the power of coordinated action in times of crisis and addressing the unique challenges of the Downtown Eastside.