Union Gospel Mission – Being the change on the Downtown East Side

Nutritious affordable meals for Downtown Eastside Residents

If you live around our home community of Vancouver BC, you may have seen Ethical Bean’s portable brewers and cups popping up at a number of events around the city through our donation program. Reflecting Lloyd and Kim’s priority to give back to our community, we feel honoured at Ethical Bean to help caffeinate some of the most hard-working people in Vancouver, who are working to build a better community for those around them.

In this blog, we would like to shine some light on an organization that has shone light for so many others: the Union Gospel Mission located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

At its most simple UGM is a relief organization, but it is so much more than that. Through their seven locations from East Vancouver to Mission, their team of staff and volunteers work with some of the city’s most vulnerable to provide a remarkable array of services on a shoestring. Not only do they provide immediate and emergency services to those seeking shelter, drug and alcohol recovery programs, or a warm meal at an affordable price, but they also contribute to the long-term rebuilding of lives – and by extension, families and communities – through education, employment, and housing.

While UGM’s resources are most often focused on providing services and relief in their communities, they also spend time engaging with the greater Vancouver community in building awareness and raising funds. Ethical Bean has been honoured to provide coffee to some of their dedicated staff and volunteers at:

  • UnCovering Visions: a beautiful display of artwork during at the Eastside Culture Crawl in November representing the results of art exploration workshops facilitated by UGM.
  • Summer Connect: bringing 40 service providers to one place to offer a variety of essential services to Vancouver’s homeless, under-housed, and most vulnerable. Check out this awesome video montage of this year’s event.
  • UGM’s presence at the Aboriginal Elders Pow-Wow: led by the Portland Hotel Society, brings together elders from across the country to bring a cultural celebration to them.
  • Christmas & Thanksgiving: their amazing holiday dinners

Want to learn more?

Touring Vancouver UGM

  • See why UGM matters in this video.
  • Get involved with your school, church, or individually as a volunteer or with an event.
  • Take a tour of UGM and their neighbourhood, led by community residents during homelessness action week (or any other time).

At this time of year (and the other 11 months, too) we want to shine the light on UGM, and encourage you to learn more, too.



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