New well being centre in Downtown Eastside to be named after philanthropist and former nurse – BC

Angelena Iglesia

A brand new built-in group well being unit in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside shall be named after a former nurse who labored within the neighbourhood and is now a longtime philanthropist.

Lily Lee donated $3.8 million to the deliberate facility at 58 West Hastings Avenue that, as soon as full, will present purpose-built, culturally-appropriate companies in 50,000 sq. ft of area.

“It appeared to be a logical match for me to have the ability to do one thing that I believe could be very worthwhile for the Downtown Eastside,” mentioned Lee, whose donation was offered by way of the Chinatown Basis.

“It’s actually thrilling and feels actually fulfilling.”


A rendering of the deliberate Lily Lee Neighborhood Well being Centre at 58 West Hastings Avenue in Vancouver.


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Lee moved to Vancouver from Alert Bay, B.C. on the age of 16 to attend nursing college on the College of British Columbia. She spent a number of years working as a public well being nurse within the DTES within the Fifties, throughout what she described as a “a lot less complicated time.”

Her expertise there stayed along with her, she instructed World Information.

The ten-storey Lily Lee Neighborhood Well being Centre Hastings may also embody 231 models of social housing. Whereas the well being centre shall be operated by Vancouver Coastal Well being, the challenge was constructed with assist from BC Housing, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Company, and the Vancouver Chinatown Basis.


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“Our household philosophy is about constructing group,” mentioned Carol Lee, Lee’s daughter and the Chinatown Basis chair.

“We’re the Chinatown Basis however we thought, nicely let’s assist our next-door neighbour first as a result of we are able to’t actually do it on our personal if we don’t have a wholesome neighbourhood.”

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Carol mentioned she hopes the centre evokes others to dream about what’s attainable within the DTES with a little bit of teamwork/

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The centre at 58 West Hastings Avenue has been within the works for a few decade and was additionally a dream of Lee’s late husband and philanthropy associate, Robert.

“It’s a spot that meets folks’s wants the place they’re at,” mentioned Man Felicella, peer medical advisor for Vancouver Coastal Well being. “Having the ability to entry one thing with group assist might be essentially the most therapeutic factor that would occur for that group.”

The ability is predicted to open in 2024, pending the provincial authorities and well being authority’s approval.

&copy 2022 World Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.

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