FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
– Tuesday, June 7th 2022 –
Union Gospel Mission’s Summer Connect event is back after a 2-year-long pandemic pause!
(Vancouver, B.C) – In the midst of an ongoing opioid epidemic and rising inflation, members of the Downtown Eastside community will be able to connect with dozens of life-changing services at UGM’s Summer Connect event tomorrow, marking a return after a 2-year hiatus during the height of the pandemic.
"It’s always exciting when someone comes to Summer Connect and makes those connections on their own,” says Demetrius Schwab, a UGM outreach staff member. “A community member I know got to speak to the CRA and found out they had overpaid their taxes by a significant portion for a number of years—so they were able to get their refund. Being able to have that access to talk directly with services literally changed that person’s life and they left feeling empowered and in control of their own life again."
COVID-19’s abrupt closures in 2020 made it more challenging for folks to access needed supports and services. As we learn to live with the realities of the pandemic, knowing what services are available can be challenging for members of our community. These uncertainties pile on top of daily stressors. A burden is lifted off people’s shoulders when they can reach out and connect for help with taxes, mental health and housing supports, a free haircut, and more.
Summer Connect streamlines vital supports on one city block at one time, so community members can connect with over 30 specialty service provider booths. Princess Avenue will be shut down for this 9th annual event to welcome more than 1,300 attendees.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to host our joy-filled event again, brimming with music, laughter, food, and connection,” says UGM’s Rachael Allen. “Those experiencing homelessness or poverty face countless barriers trying to navigate complex systems day after day, making it challenging just to get enough momentum to move forward in their lives. This event brings these pieces together. It allows people to see which supports they most-need, and they can make strides in one day that might otherwise take weeks or months.”
MEDIA EVENT DETAILS
Date: Wednesday, June 8th, 2022
Time: Media wishing to attend are asked to arrive no later than 11:30am
Where: 601 East Hastings, Vancouver (@ Princess):
- Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org before arriving
- Upon arrival at 601 E Hastings, please check in at the media table, located inside at the UGM Reception.
Media Communications Officer
Media Communications Manager
Cell: (604) 996-1417
ABOUT UNION GOSPEL MISSION
Union Gospel Mission has been feeding hope and changing the lives of men, women, youth, and children for more than 80 years. Through its eight locations in Metro Vancouver and the city of Mission, UGM provides emergency shelter, meals, outreach, career development counselling, education, safe and affordable housing, addiction recovery, and much more to those struggling with poverty, homelessness and addiction. The heart of UGM is to demonstrate God’s transforming love, ease the burden of those who are vulnerable, and come alongside people who feel cast aside. To learn more, visit www.ugm.ca.
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