Piloting and Evaluating a DTES Community Steward Program

Community stewardship is an emerging paradigm in income generation activities for marginalized populations. Drawing on residents with lived experience, stewardship creates employment through utilizing local-residents as custodians in parks, plazas and other public spaces. In order to fully develop these opportunities a common curriculum needs to be developed. This training program will allow Downtown Eastside residents in Vancouver to obtain the necessary skills to become qualified community stewards for our local parks and plazas, as well as explore opportunities in the film and tourism sectors. The design and development of this training curriculum will address considerable gaps in provide innovative employment training and low barrier employment opportunities for local community residents to prepare them for employment and engagement along an income generation spectrum that includes activities ranging from life skills training and peer-based opportunities to full market based employment. This project will also examine how the Community Steward Program might improve social, economic and health outcomes for participants and the local community, and as a result of the training curriculum we will measure and evaluate the potential social return on investment (SROI) of the proposed activities.

Faculty Supervisor:

Lindsey Richardson


Manpreet Hayre


Vancity Community Foundation




Health care and social assistance


University of British Columbia



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