Our Programs

Our space is accessible:

  • Front door: 34 inch width
  • No steps at entrance
  • Washroom door: 31 inch width
  • Toilet: 12 inch clearance on left side
  • The washroom has a handrail and is accessible to all genders.


Community Drop-in Mondays, Tuesday, Wednesdays 10:00 am-2:00 pm

Early Years Drop In ProgramFridays from 9:00 am to 11:30 am

Family Drop-in: Families, Farming and Food  Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:30 pm-6:30 pm (parents must be accompanied by children)

Right to Food Zine ongoing, contact zine for details. Meetings are regularly held on Wednesdays at 1:00 pm.

Kids Community Kitchen Sunday afternoon – please preregister for this particular program.

Tuesday Night Food Prep Tuesdays 6:45 pm -9:00 pm

Chinese Elders Community Kitchen Thursday 9:00 am -10:30 am – in cooperation with the DTES Women’s Centre

Nutritional Outreach Welfare Tuesdays and Welfare Wednesdays once a month.

Let’s Speak Up! Inclusive Nonprofit Board Governance Project – times vary.

Chinese Seniors Meeting Fridays 2:00 pm- 3:00 pm – in cooperation with Atira

Community Drop-in (CDI)

Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10:00 am-2:00 pm (lunch on Wednesday)

Program Lead: Maria  cdi@dtesnhouse.ca

The Community Drop-in is the most attended of our programs. The Community Drop-in Program itself is home to a variety of activities, including Blender Nutrition, our weekly Community Kitchens, Right to Food initiatives, and the Kitchen Table Stories Program.

During the Community Drop-in, our neighbours have the opportunity to mingle with other local residents and gain some respite from the charity model that permeates the DTES. Our neighbours can participate in the cooking process, either on Tuesday nights, regular volunteering in the Community Drop-in or through participation in any of the Community Kitchens.

One of the key goals of the Community Drop-in is to simply animate a space that our neighbours recognize as being very much their own – it is a space that belongs to the community. As the Neighbourhood House was created by local residents, we are keenly aware of the ways in which our neighbours feel most welcome in a way that “charitable” spaces often cannot. We avoid and are critical of food line-ups. Food is made available and prepared freshly over the hours during which the Community Drop-in is open.

The food that is prepared is based on our food philosophy: it is diverse and has the ingredients listed for all to see. We avoid foods that are overly processed or high in starch, refined sugars, or sodium.

Family Drop-in: Families, Farming and Food (FDI)

Tuesday and Thursday 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Program Lead: Kim, fdi@dtesnhouse.ca

The Family Drop In Program (FDI) works to serve the needs of all families residing in the Downtown Eastside and the surrounding Strathcona and Oppenheimer area. Parents who are picking up their children from Strathcona Elementary, or leaving programming from YWCA’s Crabtree Corner, are welcomed into the Neighbourhood House at 3:30pm. All parents/ caregivers and children are welcome.

One of the key aims of Family Drop In is to improve the determinants of health for families and children in our community. We do this through a program emphasis on food literacy, healthy meal preparation, culinary exploration, and urban farming practices. This program works to mitigate the effects of material poverty now by providing access to healthy food, but also in the long term as participants acquire the skills and knowledge of healthy food preparation. The Neighbourhood House space offers opportunities for children and caregivers to explore arts, crafts, activities, and games with skilled and caring staff and volunteers. In the warm spring and summer months, families have the chance to take trips to our community garden to help plant, grow, and harvest vegetables to use in Neighbourhood House programs.

Family Drop In strives to create a welcoming environment and respectful culture, in which there is no competition or strife between families of differing ancestries. Parents who enter our doors may be materially and nutritionally vulnerable and live with a multiplicity of other physical/ mental health complexities. As well, children who access Family Drop In may be equally as challenged by the same barriers as their adult counterparts.

Family Drop In reminds all of our neighbours, that the world is their oyster and their deservedness inherent. The demands and strains of family life can often lead to isolation, and the Neighbourhood House looks to address that by providing a safe place to connect with other parents, children, youth, and helpful staff.

Early Years Drop In

Fridays 9:00 am to 11:30 am

Program Lead: Kim, fdi@dtesnhouse.ca

The Early Years Drop In (EYDI) program provides a space for caregivers and their young children, to eat breakfast, participate in activities, workshops, and seminars together. The program begins right after the school bell rings at Lord Strathcona Elementary, and families can leisurely walk over to the Neighbourhood House from there.

EYDI is a place for parents to come together and learn from one another. It is a peer facilitated talking space, where open conversation is encouraged to be supportive of one another. Topics covered include: parents mental health, appropriate screen time for toddlers and children, baby’s sleep schedule, how to deal with bad behaviour, and the importance of literacy for toddlers. Conversation will commence after a healthy breakfast has been eaten.

EYDI will also be offering two workshops series. The Neuro Emotional Learning Program teaches parents the basics of how emotions work, how to identify a range of emotions in self and others, and how to manage these emotions with a view to improving emotion management and positive effect. Additionally, The Nobody’s Perfect Parenting Program provides 6-weeks of facilitated workshops on promoting positive parenting, improving parents self-esteem and coping skills, help prevent family violence, and create a better understanding of children’s health, safety, and behaviour.

Right to Food Zine


The Right to Food (RTF) Zine is published approximately every three months. Our articles include everything from original research and interviews to recipes, poetry, and kids pages. The Zine’s mission is to promote the human right to food that is healthy, nutritious, affordable, and presented with dignity. Our voices reflect the diversity that is the Downtown Eastside. Our articles, research, and recipes speak to DTES residents, social justice groups, and beyond. We are part of the local community and strive to act as a community-building tool.

Interested in contributing to the RTF Zine? We’re always looking for original articles, artwork, or ideas that reflect the right to food. Let us know who you are at ed@dtesnhouse.ca or introduce yourself at the Neighbourhood House during operating hours.

Kids Community Kitchen

Sunday afternoons

Program Lead: Christa  kidskitchen@dtesnhouse.ca

On Sunday afternoon, the Kids Community Kitchen is always a hub of activity at the DTES Neighbourhood House. This is a 12 week kid friendly program.

The Neighbourhood House also introduces children to the use of the humble blender and courts their nutritional imaginations with delicious smoothies. From here they branch out into more demanding recipes. Children learn skills based food safe and cooking as well as nutrition and planning. Each 12 week session ends with a family celebration highlighting a dinner prepared by participants.

Tuesday Night Food Prep

Tuesdays, 6:45 pm to 9:00 pm

Program Lead: Maria  cdi@dtesnhouse.ca

Join us on Tuesday nights as we work to animate a night of food prep. Our neighbours in the DTES and friends from outside of the DTES work together to prepare healthy and nutritious food that is made available to participants in the Community Drop-in the following day.

If you’re interested in getting involved in our initiatives, feel free to get in touch with us for more details.

Chinese Elders Community Kitchen

Thursday 9:00 am – 10:30 am

In collaboration with the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre

Chinese Elders in our community often face isolation. The Chinese Elders Community Kitchen is a key initiative that works to combat this, by providing a space for community building and the sharing of recipes. This program is run in partnership with the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. It brings together Chinese elders in the DTES, who participate weekly in a community kitchen at the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House.

To observe this program is to witness the true magic and cohesion that is built as a result of participating in community kitchens with your neighbours.

Nutritional Outreach

Welfare Tuesdays and Welfare Wednesdays

Program Lead: Maria cdi@dtesnhouse.ca

The Banana Beat and the Mobile Smoothie Project are two initiatives that aim to provide essential nutrients on the days that low-income residents of the Downtown Eastside are least likely to have access to nutrition.

Banana Beat operates on “Welfare Wednesdays” (or cheque day). The first Banana Beat was held in August 2006, and continues to operate to this day, bringing nutritional wealth (in the form of potassium and other nutrients) as well as dignity and the reminder of inherent deservedness to hundreds of our neighbours who line up in the pre-dawn hours, awaiting the opening of offices to access their Social Assistance payments. Created by the DTES NH, the Banana Beat remains one of our most cherished vehicles for grassroots community consultation and development.

In February 2009, the DTES NH instituted our Mobile Smoothie Project, which was designed to foster community development and to attract those of our neighbours who might never attend our more traditional Community Kitchens. The Mobile Smoothie Project visits a number of partner organizations for approximately 30 minutes every Welfare Tuesday (the day before cheque day). As people mingle and socialize around this low tech activity, the humble blender delivers both a concise nutritional lesson and delicious smoothies to all.

The Mobile Smoothie Project regularly stops at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, The Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU), the Chill Room of InSite, and Oppenheimer Park.

These programs were born of the collective life experience of DTES NH program participants. Through the Banana Beat and the Mobile Smoothie Project, we’re able to offer quality ingredients to Vancouver’s most nutritionally vulnerable population, along with a dignified mode of delivery.

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