“We become neighbors when we are willing to cross the road for one another” – Henri J.M. Nouwen

Union Gospel Mission Presents: The Hello Neighbour Project

Saturday, October 17, 2015
10:00am – 6:00pm
Oppenheimer Park (Powell and Dunlevy)

Drop in to Oppenheimer Park and join UGM and friends to share knowledge, build understanding and to get to know your Downtown Eastside neighbour. It’s free and open to any who wants to join. Come ready to learn, with an open heart and explore a vibrant, but often misunderstood neighbourhood.
Sign Up For a Walk

Special Feature: The Neighbourhood Walk

  • Choose from two walk options (East or West), led by people with lived experience in the Downtown Eastside
  • Through this unique experience, participants learn about the history, beauty and resiliency of this community
  • Walks are 60-90 minutes long and offered all day
  • Space is limited, sign-up must be done in advance

Sign up to reserve your spot!

Other Park Activities

  • Join a game or activity with your neighbours
  • Listen to a sharing time by Aboriginal and/or Chinese elders and learn about the history, and personal struggles and victories
  • Watch the Vancouver Street Soccer league join community members for several exhibition soccer games between 11:00am – 2:00pm
  • Participate in an art project
  • Make some music with your neighbours
  • An activity for children will take place in the fieldhouse from 11:00am – 1:00pm (*must be accompanied by a parent or guardian)
  • Have a snack and talk to someone new


The mission of The Hello Neighbour Project is to foster the connection between the Downtown Eastside community and the rest of Metro Vancouver by sharing knowledge and building understanding. We will introduce the wider community to the neighbourhood and the incredible people that live here, in an effort to build bridges of compassion and respect. We seek to improve the area’s reputation and share the dynamic, positive community that flourishes in the Downtown Eastside.

Partners and Sponsors

Huge thanks to Save On Meats (SOM) for stepping up and giving back to this community during HAW. SOM is a well-known restaurant in the Downtown Eastside that includes a classic diner, full service butcher, catering department, and a community commissary kitchen. It’s a lively, socially motivated venue, representative of the neighborhood and city it belongs to. Considered a social enterprise, SOM is well known in the North American business community for its cutting-edge employment models and focus on local food security. They work with many community groups, educational institutions, non-profits and corporations to continuously improve and build on best practices. They are committed to keeping prices affordable for the community, and focus on training to build a stronger local workforce.

One of their best known initiatives is their award winning Token Program. Redeemable for a breakfast sandwich either at the front take-out window or inside the diner, tokens are purchased for $2.25 and handed out to those in need. The act of giving a token to someone is meant to be a conversation-starter, a front-line personal interaction with our neighbours in Vancouver. During HAW, SOM will provide 1,000 tokens to those struggling with extreme poverty and homelessness.

Founded in 2012 by Mark Brand, A Better Life Foundation strives to support people in need. The overarching goal of the Foundation is to raise critical funds towards providing food security to women, children, and those in assisted living as well as provide job training and employment opportunities for the community at large. By looking for and working towards sustainable solutions, A Better Life Foundation aims to contribute towards meaningful change.

The Vancouver Street Soccer League (VSSL) is a volunteer-run organization which reaches out to individuals who have been homeless, are currently homeless, or are at risk of homelessness, as well as individuals who feel marginalized within their communities, or are recovering from drug and alcohol addictions. The VSSL began in spirit in 2008, and was founded officially in the summer of 2009. Since then, the League has sent players to four consecutive Homeless World Cups, held in Milan, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Mexico City and Poznan (Poland) respectively. The League’s various teams train throughout the week, and the League also holds regular matches against or alongside teams from the UBC Medical School, the Vancouver Police Department, the Vancouver Mayor’s Department, and the UBC Women’s Varsity Team.