News 1130 - July 20, 2013
VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – You don’t often think of the Downtown Eastside as a place for families, but today it’s all about cotton candy, hot dogs and bouncy castles.
The Union Gospel Mission holds a lot of meals, but today is actually the biggest of the year as they host the 15th annual summer BBQ at Oppenheimer Park.
Keela Keeping with the UGM explains why this is one of the most upbeat events they hold.
“Oppenheimer Park is often associated with drug use and it’s gotten a lot better since the renovations. People walking by in the community just love to see positive things happening in their community,” she explains.
Keeping says many are surprised with how many families are among the working poor of the Downtown Eastside. “A lot of these families don’t have the funds to take their kids anywhere. So, to have something that is free, right in their community, and safe, there’s a lot of great parents that just don’t have any extra funds to much of anything.”
She adds a fun day like today is a great way to build trust in a fragile community. Over 15,000 pounds of coleslaw, hundreds of litres of pop and 1,000 pickles will be handed out.