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History
Vancouver Second Mile Society (VSMS) was established in 1958 by Dr. Wallace Wilson, a Health Department official from the City of Vancouver. The Society was created in response to concerns that the City’s redevelopment in the downtown eastside did not include a community centre since the closure of the original Carnegie Library in 1958.

Dr. Wilson recruited a small group of concerned citizens and formed a committee to solicit support for the newly founded Vancouver Second Mile Society.

With doors first opened to the public in 1958, the Seniors Centre became a place for seniors to enjoy recreational activities and find fellowship in a “living room” atmosphere away from their small Single Room Accommodation’s. Seniors who frequented the Centre were independent, but many of the clients who frequented the Centre still restricted themselves to their small isolated rooms. So in 1989, the Neighbourhood Helpers (a Seniors Outreach Program) was established. Today the seniors who frequent the Seniors Centre come from as far away as Surrey and Richmond.

The Neighbourhood Helpers(a Seniors Outreach Program) was a natural progression from the drop-in Seniors Centre since some seniors were not physically able to leave their rooms. The Neighbourhood Helpers (a Seniors Outreach Program) was designed as a door-to-door visitation program to ensure we reached isolated seniors where they lived.

We continue to welcome seniors back into the Vancouver community, regardless of their physical or mental challenges by reaching out to them. The concept of “seniors helping seniors” was adopted to recruit seniors living in Single Room Accommodations and train them to become peer counsellors. The Neighbourhood Helpers (a Seniors Outreach Program) builds a supportive network among elderly residents of hotels and housing developments, and stimulates broader community action.

 

 
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We give seniors a sense of community. We actively address the social, recreational, nutritional and informational needs of low-income seniors.