About Us

Our Story

The Vancouver Urban Core (Urban Core) is a network of Downtown Eastside (DTES) organizations, non-profits, businesses and individuals who deliver services that provide employment, education, housing or social opportunities. We are committed to supporting a continuum of economic strategies that provide a sustainable livelihood, collaborative community and improved incomes for DTES residents.

Meet the Team

Vancouver Urban Core is composed of an executive committee and general membership.

Executive Committee

The purpose of the Executive is to make decisions based on recommendations put forward by the general membership, and approve organizational development decisions. It meets once per month for 90 minutes, a week in advance of the standing General Meeting.

An election of the Executive members occurs at the Annual General Meeting in November of each year. Due to the impact of COVID-19 the 2020/2021 Annual General Meeting has been postponed until the spring of 2021.


Vancouver Urban Core Executive Members 2020 Co-Chairs

                    Louise Schwarz                                               Kathleen Leahy                                                Bobby MacDonald                                            Recycling Alternative                                           UBC Learning Exchange                                             Union Gospel Mission

Executive Members

Michael LeLand
The Binners’ Project

Johanna Li
EMBERS Eastside Works

Karla Kloepper
Carnegie Community Centre

Adam Hayashi
Hastings Crossing BIA

Brian Francis
Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre

Bonnie McLellan
Downtown Community Court

Matthew Smedley Mission Possible

The General Membership

Members of Vancouver Urban Core meet once a month. The general membership is composed of organisations located in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.

BC Community Response Table

Binner’s Project

Buy Social

Carnegie Community Action Project

Carnegie Community Centre

Clean Start

DTES Literacy Roundtable

DTES Market

DTES Neighbourhood House

Elizabeth Fry Society


First United Church

Hastings Crossing BIA

Vancouver Community Network


Lookout Society

Mission Possible

Open Door Group

Pivot Legal

PHS Community Services Society

Potluck Cafe Society

Raincity Housing

Salvation Army

Servant Partners

UBC Learning Exchange

Union Gospel Mission

Vancouver Community College

WISH Drop In Centre


Exchange Inner City