First United Church Community Ministry Society is an inner-city ministry committed at its heart to the struggle for social justice, offering programs of advocacy, hospitality, housing and healing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
We carry on a tradition of inner-city ministry at First United that goes back to the early 20th century. As an incorporated community ministry of the United Church of Canada under the supervision of the BC Conference, we are dedicated to creating an inclusive, caring community that affirms the worth of each individual and encourages a sense of belonging.
With a staff of seventy, and the assistance of numerous volunteers, First United provides low-barrier, essential services and programs to the most vulnerable and multi-barriered population of Vancouver. We do so within a framework of four pillars:
· Social justice—legal and systemic advocacy, education/practicums
· Hospitality—free meals, clothing, personal care services, harm reduction, office services
· Housing—shelter, affordable/supported apartments, bin and cart storage, referrals
· Healing—pastoral /spiritual care, support groups, First Nations ministry
We are a sanctuary, a place of rest, replenishment and support for all who walk through our doors. Our ministry cares for and supports the whole person within this four pillars framework. Our philosophy is to accept people where they are at and assist them in making the changes they want in their lives. Our work is to make hope possible.