Despite the incredible success of the Rainier, the community is still fighting for its right to treatment and recovery. Find out more
Despite the incredible success of the Rainier, the community is still fighting for its right to treatment and recovery. Until the loss of its core program elements due to the elimination of its funding, the Rainier offered full spectrum programming, reflecting ‘best practices’ in addictions treatment for women with substance dependency and mental health diagnosis.
The provision of these programs was originally made possible by the following commitments:
- The Province of British Columbia provided 9.5 million in capital cost funds for purchase and renovation of the building and program development.
- Health Canada provided $5 million one-time-only funds administered by Vancouver Coastal Health (VCHA) through the Ministry of Health Services over 4.5 years for operational funding and;
- Vancouver Coastal Health was expected to provide ongoing operational funding for the project once the Health Canada funding expired.
In December of 2012, these commitments ended. Health Canada funding expired and VCHA decided not to provide the $750,000 ongoing funding required to continue operating this vital program. This loss has had a tremendously negative impact on the women currently residing at the Rainier. By eliminating virtually all therapeutic programming, support staff, management, onsite clinical staff and the food programs, the only treatment centre for women in the DTES has effectively been reduced to single room occupancy housing.
The decision to discontinue funding also came at the same time that Justice Wally Oppal delivered the report titled "Forsaken: The Report of Missing Women Commission of Inquiry" which investigated the disappearance of women from Vancouver's DTES from January 23, 1997 to February 5, 2002—it is estimated that at least 60 women disappeared from the early 1980s through 2002. The report recommended more services like those offered by the Rainier in the DTES, not less.
This document also stated that without a doubt, public indifference contributed to a situation in which these missing women could easily be forsaken. It calls for public recognition of "the role that our collective complacency, [that] public and political indifference played in contributing to the abandonment of this group of women."
The people of Vancouver play an important role in the safety and security of members of our community. This campaign aims to highlight the necessity for programs like the Rainier. It is a call to action, for people of Vancouver to open their hearts and help us protect the rights of these women and to think different about how the view the issues and people of the DTES.
Support commitment to the women of our community. Support the right to recovery. Support the Rainier.