Research Projects


Here are some research projects that have happened or are happening in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). You can learn more about the DTES neighborhood and its history here.

All of the people leading research projects on this page have volunteered to share their information with us, and many have provided more information about themselves and their research in the directory. We hope this page will highlight university research that is happening in the DTES, make it easier for researchers and community members to connect with each other, and facilitate community-university collaborations.

If you have questions about contacting people listed in the project descriptions below, please email Heather Holroyd at .

If you would like to add your research project to this page, please email

As this page is a new feature of the Research Access Portal we also welcome your ideas about how we can make it relevant to you and the people you work with; please email us your thoughts at

Optimizing the employment outcomes for people living in the Downtown Eastside

Project Lead: Skye Barbic

The overall objective of this project is to increase access to meaningful employment for unemployed British Columbians living in the Downtown Eastside...

Supportive Movement: Toward Equity Oriented Health Promotion

Project Lead: Colleen Varcoe

Other: Francine Darroch

Pregnant and/or parenting women who experience poverty, racism, and trauma are less likely to be physically active and are at greater risk of negative...

The Women's Intensive Case Management Research Project

Project Lead: Colleen Varcoe

The purpose of this research is to evaluate the impact of a women's-only approach to Intensive Case Management (ICMT) on women's health, social well-b...

Cheque Day Study (The Impact of Alternative Social Assistance on Drug Related Harm)

Project Lead: Lindsey Richardson

Prior research identifies substantial increases in drug use and drug-related harm as well as challenges to effective service provision associated with...

Assessing Economic Transitions Study (ASSETS)

Project Lead: Lindsey Richardson

The Assessing Economic Transitions Study (ASSETS) is a study seeking to learn more about the experience of people who are training or working in the c...

Downtown Eastside Client Transience Study

Project Lead: Andrew Day

VCH will lead an integrated redesign of health services in the Downtown Eastside through the Second Generation Strategy (DTES-2GS). This project aims ...

Perceptions and Experiences of End of Life care and Medical Assistance in Dying within Marginalized Populations

Project Lead: Ellen R. Wiebe

There have been concerns about marginalized people being pressured into having medical assistance in dying and being denied good end of life care. Th...

Eastside Illicit Drinkers Group For Education: Exploring Experiences of Illicit Alcohol Use in Vancouver's Inner City

Project Lead: Thomas Kerr

This project will investigate the drinking practices, the perceived harms, and the social services used by non-beverage alcohol users in Vancouver's ...

Occupational health, safety and labour rights among street and indoor sex workers in the context of evolving laws and policing: Ethnographic and quali...

Project Lead: Andrea Krüsi

The overall goals of this project is to better understand how evolving laws and policies, including laws and policing that target sex workers’ clients...

Trauma at the Root: Exploring Paths to Healing with Formerly Incarcerated Men

Project Lead: Chris Richardson

The Collaborating Centre for Prison Health and Education, in partnership with the John Howard Society of Canada, has received funding from the Vancouv...

From Ceremony Up: Indigenous Community Planning as a Resurgent Practice on Contested Lands in British Columbia

Project Lead: Lyana Patrick

This case study explored what urban Indigenous community planning looks like at the intersection of health and justice in the work of one Indigenous o...

Oppenheimer Park Community-Led Violence Reduction Initiative

Project Lead: Penelope Gurstein

Other: Kathleen Heggie

This project investigated how programming in Oppenheimer Park (Vancouver, BC) contributes to safety and social cohesion in and around the area, and ho...