Back alley, Downtown Eastside Vancouver

This is what we’re used to seeing when we think of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. This is the place we want to rescue people from, thinking that no one would choose to live here.

But sometimes we’re wrong, and sometimes people have made this choice. It’s not a great choice, but then, when this is the place that someone thinks is best, it’s likely that they had other similar choices, or – worse yet – no other choices at all.

This is one of those realizations I’ve been having recently as I’m researching articles and books for my literature review for my MA thesis.

There will be more posts starting with how I got into prostitution research, my perceptions and beliefs about it, and my experiences working in a non-profit assisting female youth exiting the sex trade.

But it’s the research I’ve been reading lately from good academics, experiential people, and other service providers with lengthy histories that is showing me my perspective was wrong; that to help people move forward you have to work with them where they are.

Thanks for reading, and hopefully you’ll have some realizations of your own.


About Kelly Bohl

Graduate student with a day job who enjoys great cafes, exploring restaurants, and the best diners. When I'm not out sampling great dishes at our restaurants, I'm engaged in testing various recipes to make my own great dishes at home.
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One Response to Back alley, Downtown Eastside Vancouver

  1. easilyriled says:

    Hi Kelly,
    I’m working on the same thing, pretty much–harm reduction as it is applied to women in prostitution. from what i’ve read on your blog, seems like we have some ideas in common–and others perhaps not. Maybe we could have a conversation about it sometime? my MA was a critique of Vancouver’s Four Pillars Drug Policy. My PhD is concerned with how front-line workers, all women, most working in anti-violence work (but some street nurses, outreach workers, advocates in drop-in centres and so on), understand their work (especially their work with women in prostitution) as “harm reduction” gains ascendancy in social policy.
    What do you think? want to have a chat sometime?

    Erin (easilyriled)

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