Why We Care

Vancouver’s downtown core, including downtown east and downtown south, is home to a vast population of low-income seniors. These seniors often live alone and die alone. As our city prepares for new growth in the downtown core, low-income seniors have become a forgotten population.

Approximately 30% of our overall membership lives in the Downtown Eastside within walking distance to our Hastings Street Centre. At one time this area was known as the poorest area of Canada. Despite improvements and gentrification, poverty still is quite prevalent.

In keeping with life expectancy levels in the community, Vancouver Second Mile Society considers anyone who is 50 years old (45 years old on disability) to be a senior. Various poverty issues including inadequate housing, complex health issues, isolation and lack of access to good nutrition results in the older years being particularly difficult for community members.


The crisis our seniors face is indifference. We can change this. By providing programs that take lonely seniors out of their rooms and into a caring circle of friendship we give seniors a sense of community. We actively address the social, recreational, nutritional and informational needs of low-income seniors. We help seniors help themselves!