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Jim’s Story: Struggling to Stay Housed in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Illustration by Indiana Joel

While hundreds of homeless people in Vancouver are housed every year, there’s a constant group of about 300 whose homelessness is further complicated by mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, and run-ins with the law. 

“Jim” is one of those people. Tyee reporter Katie Hyslop spent six months with the middle-aged First Nations man as he tried to get off the streets and coped with the consequences of multiple assault charges. 

In a two-part story, Hyslop chronicles how Jim got to the Downtown Eastside and all the barriers he faces to living a healthy, housed life. She speaks with academics, politicians, and service providers about how proper planning, resources, and collaboration can help solve homelessness.

In This Series


Illustration by Indiana Joel

In Downtown Eastside, Jim’s Story Shows Holes in Vast Net of Systems and Services

Facing complex challenges, his struggle is emblematic of hundreds others. First of two parts.

By Katie Hyslop, 1 Sep 2016


Illustration by Indiana Joel

Jim’s Story: What Can Be Done to House Our Most Vulnerable Residents?

It isn’t lack of knowledge or politics that holds us back, but logistics, experts say. Last of two.

By Katie Hyslop, 2 Sep 2016