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Vancouver pop-up wants your old clothes for a good cause




Do you have clothes, accessories or blankets that you no longer use?

Organizers of an annual holiday event in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside say they have seen an unprecedented drop in donations.

Brought to you by BC Housing, Vancouver Street Store 8.0 offers a free outdoor pop-up clothing store for homeless people. The store is laid out like traditional shops, with departments set up in different tents and volunteers playing the role of saleswomen. The goal of the Street Store is to provide a holiday-worthy shopping experience where residents can choose what they want for free.

In addition to the shopping experience, the Street Store also offers free food, drink, and haircuts.

This year, the event will be held at Oppenheimer Park at 400 Powell Street on Saturday, December 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Street Store is what we think of as an inverted gala – our vision of an event that raises awareness, fills a need and brings people together, but instead of dressing ourselves, we dress the community,” Christina said. Wong, Executive Director of Employ Renforcer. “We expect this to be the largest street store to date, delivering a holiday-worthy shopping experience where residents can choose what they want and need, at no cost. Last year we were limited in capacity, but this year we have a new location and fewer restrictions. ”

Despite the pandemic, the 2020 event saw a “significant increase” in donations, with 552 bags collected; that was almost three more than what was collected at the 2019 event. However, for this year’s event, the community expressed the need for more men’s items.

“We are so encouraged by the support from the community,” Wong said. “About 75 percent of the homeless population are men, however, there were more than double the donations for women at last year’s event. We are therefore asking for additional donations for men’s items.

How and what to donate to the Vancouver Street Store

The community expressed a need for warm winter jackets, men’s and women’s clothing (especially pants), men’s winter boots, backpacks, blankets, sleeping bags, accessories winter (hats, gloves, scarves) and toiletries in good condition.

Summer clothing, children’s clothing, used underwear, hotel-sized toiletries, books and household items will not be accepted.

Donors are requested to drop off their new or lightly used items on Saturday, November 27; and Saturday December 4; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 41 East Hastings. Donors are urged to stay in their cars and wait for volunteers to help collect items in order to limit contact points.

Volunteers have four different schedules to select on the day of the event, with those interested in register via this form. Other ways to get involved include become a donation champion. In addition, the Street Store is asking for donations of funds to help cover expenses for venue, event equipment, operating costs and SUMMER programming. Use to empower has more useful information.

The 2021 event will include COVID-19 regulations, such as screening questions, mandatory masks, sanitation stations, clean donations, physical distancing, and PPE.


The street store now only accepts:

  • Winter jackets + pants for women + men
  • Medium to large backpacks
  • Warm blankets
  • New Men + Women Underwear
  • New towels
  • Sleeping bags
  • New socks
  • Unopened toiletries
  • Winter accessories (gloves, scarves, hats)
  • Winter boots (especially large sizes)

They do not accept:

  • Summer clothes
  • Kids clothing
  • Hotel size shampoos / toiletries
  • High heels + open shoes




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