Gathering Place 2006 Block Party

2006.08.30 - 9:01 PM

The Gathering Place operates 6 days a week (closed Sunday) from 10am to 8pm, open all statutory holidays. This Centre caters to low income and homeless individuals in the Downtown South community and anyone can buy an annual membership for one dollar.

In 2005 the Gathering Place Community Centre celebrated 10 years of community service. See our celebration video on the GVTV site.

Approximately 5000 patrons per year take out a membership. This entitles them to most of the services of the facility. An additional $5 buys a recreation card which applies to weight room and poolroom membership. Courses are free but there are small charges for materials for programs such as photography and pottery.

The Province funds the Gathering Place Health Centre where patrons can take a shower, do a load of laundry a day, and receive treatment for lice and scabies. Donated clothing is cleaned and made available. An extensive wardrobe is available for male patrons to borrow when attending court or job interviews.

The Education Centre provides a co-operative environment for people who want high school courses and have found traditional schooling did not meet their needs. An assortment of individualized programs and classes are available that range from basic literacy (reading and writing) to courses for graduation. Math upgrading and English upgrading are offered, as is GED preparation. Computer training is also available for registered students. The Education Centre is funded by the Vancouver School Board. Some community hours are available for computer use by Gathering Place members who are not registered students.

The Reading Room is a bright recreational reading facility stocked with current books, magazines, music, and videos. Reference materials are available, and the Reading Room Manager helps patrons with inquiries. Faxes may be sent to local prospective employers. Over the years, the Reading Room has offered a Book Club and a Writers’ Group.

The cafeteria offers three meals a day - breakfast costs $2.00, lunch costs $2.75, and dinner costs $3.75. Soup is available at $.75 and sandwiches are a dollar. Coffee, milk and juices can also be bought at reasonable prices. Often there is baking for sale, depending on the workload of the kitchen. The kitchen prides itself on a healthy menu, variety, and the freshest possible food at the lowest possible price. There are no special diet orders or gourmet items but there is a good meal at a good price.

The Gathering Place offers a number of art programs. These include pottery, photography, and painting. From time to time there will be additional projects such as the making of Christmas cards and collages.

Recreation programs include pool and weight room, aikido, judo, tae kwon do, tai chi, and yoga. Foosball, pingpong and Nintendo are played in the Games room. A variety of games and cards are available for borrowing. There are occasional tournaments in card games, pool, ping pong, darts, and foosball. As available, basketball and floor hockey have been arranged at the nearby Roundhouse Community Centre. Seasonal out-trips include camping, eagle watching, Christmas light tours, skiing, etc.

Music programs include the Vocal Dose Café, music jams, and music drop-in. The Centre has musical equipment which members are allowed to use in-house at pre-scheduled times.

Health programs include massage therapy and art therapy and Qi Gong. There is also a therapeutic hot tub. As funding is available, there are courses in anger management, first aid, and life skills.

A youth worker is available to discuss youth problems and to make referrals to appropriate agencies. There are youth out-trips and from time to time other youth activities such as the mural project and a stilt performance group. A youth food bank takes place in the theatre on Thursday mornings at 11:30 am. The Youth Committee of the Board meets monthly to discuss issues of particular interest. Many special activities are planned each year for National Youth Week.

The volunteer program is at the heart of the Gathering Place. Over 100 volunteers work two to four-hour shifts in the kitchen, health centre, library, cafeteria, and other locations to provide Gathering Place services. Without their hard work and support, the centre would not be able to operate. Volunteers receive meal tickets worth $1.25 per hour which are redeemable in the cafeteria.

Other services include the use of the Gathering Place as a mailing address, daytime storage of personal belongings, telephone messages, and the use of two free phones. There are also some rooms available for bookings to local groups.

Gathering Place 2006 Block Party. Music was recorded during The GP's music program. All video and photos by Lu, James, and Smoke.

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jamescapoeira on 2006.08.30

Smoke, Lu, you guys did an amazing job capturing The Gathering Place's Block Party.


Ange on 2006.08.31

hey guys, great footage. Thanks for sharing this so that everyone can see the great things available for them at the gathering place.

Sarah on 2006.10.08

YOU 3 did a wonderful job love it.

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