The Vivian, affectionately called the ‘Viv,’ was the first fully accessible housing program in Vancouver specifically designed for women (trans and cis inclusive) who face systemic and individual barriers to adequate housing and health, personal and financial security.
The Viv came to life to address the unique safety and support needs of women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The program offers a flexible, non-judgmental environment and follows a harm-reduction/health promotion philosophy.
To provide housing to women as they address their own self-identified goals and offer support consistent with values of cultural connection and healing, self-determination and harm reduction.
WHO IS INVOLVED
The community at The Viv includes women who experience challenges with substance use, are at extreme risk of exposure to violence, require access to mental and physical health care and have a history of trauma and housing instability.
WHAT IT IS
The Viv is a three-story building that provides housing to 24 women. Here women are supported on their own terms. The program screens women in, not out of the program, responding to the complexities of women’s needs, histories and survival skills.
The term ‘Harm Reduction’ doesn’t only apply to drug use or safer sex. It can mean safer lives, creating safer spaces for people to live and thrive in. The women living at the Vivian teach us this every day.
CONTACT THE VIVIAN