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The new Powell Place is open! Expansion and renovations complete

We are pleased to announce the expansion and renovation of Powell Place is complete! The newly redesigned shelter opened in March 2015. Along with our enhanced staffing and program model, the new facility enhances low-barrier and trauma-informed services for women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Powell Place provides emergency shelter for women in crisis while supporting them to foster their independence, enhance their skills, and find and remain in permanent housing. In addition to doubling its occupancy from 26 beds to 52, the new facility allows for integrated community services on site, offering accessible and individualized supports for women in crisis.

In addition to funding from all three levels of government, a Capital Campaign led by Cindy Beedie raised over $1.2 million for the new shelter.

“It has been an honour to be involved in this project and I want to thank all of the donors and funders that made the transformation of Powell Place possible,” said Cindy. “Our collective investment in women-centered services is already making a difference. I can only imagine the additional impact we will see, now that women have access to such an incredible facility and the enhanced staffing and program model The Bloom Group has developed.”

Donors to the Powell Place Capital Campaign toured the new shelter at a event on Thursday March 26, while our government partners officially opened the new shelter on Friday March 27. At both events audiences were moved by words of the women who have led the project for the past several years, who spoke about what the new building will mean for the women we serve.

“The women who come to Powell Place for services are strong and resilient,” said Trudi Shymka, Director of Women’s Services. “They have faced many challenges. They have experienced trauma, assaults, illness, poverty and often have been bypassed by opportunity. But this describes the challenges they have faced, not who they are.”

“The women who come to Powell Place are daughters, mothers, sisters, with dreams and ambitions,” added Shymka. “This building is full of possibility and potential, just like the women who come here to seek support.”

The new building includes a classroom, counselling rooms and 1-on-1 support spaces. Other features include a commercial-grade kitchen, a residents’ kitchen and a medical assessment room. A project to revitalize the shelter’s courtyard garden is underway and will provide healing green space once completed in summer 2015.

“The opening of our newly expanded shelter represents an important moment in the evolution of low-barrier services for women in the Downtown Eastside, ” said Marleen Morris, former president of The Bloom Group Board of Directors. “Powell Place provides a supportive stepping stone for women as they seek out and prepare for living in stable, permanent homes. The beautiful features of the new building embody our strengths-based approach; one that honours the dignity and self-determination of the women we serve.”

Located at 329 Powell Street, Powell Place Women’s Shelter is managed and operated by The Bloom Group. The expansion and renovation of Powell Place furthers The Bloom Group’s vision for a continuum of housing and supports for women in our community. The Bloom Group has supported women in the Downtown Eastside for almost 40 years. Powell Place was the first women-only shelter in the Downtown Eastside, opened in 1977.

Thank you to the sponsors of our opening event celebrations!

Ambleside Environmental      Kinetic Construction       NSDA Architects      CitySpaces      Southlands Nursery

Click here to see pictures of our Powell Place Opening Celebration

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About Powell Place

Opened in 1977 and reopened after renovations in March 2015, Powell Place was the first women-only shelter in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. We serve women who live with the intersecting challenges of violence, abuse, poverty, mental illness and addiction. Our innovative, strengths-based approach encourages women to make their own choices and supports them as they reach toward their goals. Providing accessible, non-judgemental individualized supports 24 hours a day, every day, our priorities are safety, stability, harm reduction and self-determination for every woman. The new facility doubles our capacity from 26 to 52 beds and expands our support services. Following expansion, Powell Place now includes a secure street-level reception area, medical room, learning space, counselling rooms, 1-on-1 support rooms, kitchens and a dining room.

Stories of resilience and hope

Thank you to Everyone

Thanks to everyone who gave safety to vulnerable women in the DTES. We are grateful for the wonderful support for this project from government, business and individuals who care deeply about the well being of the most vulnerable women in our community. With your help over 300 women each and every year will find safety and steps to a better future.


BC Housing
City of Vancouver
Government of Canada – Homelessness Partnership Strategy
Cindy & Ryan Beedie Family
625 Powell Street Foundation

BC Housing, City of Vancouver, Government of Canada, Metro Vancouver
Visionaries ($100,000+)

The Congregation of St. Mary’s Anglican Church Kerrisdale
Hockey Helps the Homeless

Trailblazers ($50,000+)

Human Resources Development Canada – Enabling Accessibility Fund
Rudy & Patricia North
Radcliffe Foundation
Margaret Hope and Carl Vanderspek

Pioneers ($20,000+)

Anthem Properties
Blue Sky Foundation
The Morris and Helen Belkin Foundation
The Peter and Joanne Brown Foundation
Central City Foundation
Face the World Foundation
Houssian Family Foundation
The Louis Family
David and Jill Lyall
Onni Group
Todd Yuen

Champions ($1,000+)

Anonymous (3), Andrew Mahon Foundation, Armstrong Family Foundation, Bridges Family Memorial Foundation, Brook Pooni Associates , Darren Cannon, Raymond Castelli, Churchill International Property Corporation, Richard & Heidi Coglon, Carolyn & Robert Cross, Cameron & Wendy Currie, Dayhu Investments Ltd., Dr. Joan Ford, Garden Club of Vancouver, Holly Gordon, Andrew & Sarah Green, Nitya Iyer, Lee Hester, Carlota Lee, Sharlene & Harald Ludwig, Macdonald Development Corporation, David & Joyce McNair, Chris Morrison Personal Real Estate Corp., Stuart Morrison Personal Real Estate Corporation, MOSAIC, Leah & John O’Neill, RBC Foundation, David Rowntree, Joseph Segal Family Foundation, Suki & Desha Sekhon, Allan Seltzer Mortgage Consultant, Dean & Julie Shepard, Jason & Monica Soprovich, Robert Stokes, Travelers Financial Corporation, Marie Vermeulen, Morag MacLean & Jonathan Oldman, Vito Decicco Personal Real Estate Corporation.

Friends (up to $999)

Anonymous (12), Sue Burgess, Lea Chmelauskas,  Herbert Fears, Susan Fife, E. Marion Greene, Robert Harlow & Sally Ireland, Ronald Harrison, Gary & Michele Huebner, Caroline Kuwica, Mary Lindsay, Shirley McIntosh, Ann L. Neumann, William & Tiare Nonni, Pacific Interchristian Community Society, Bill Randall, Janette Thompson, Patricia Thorpe, Sean Ungemach, Walden Disposal, Ann Yuen.