Most economic activity occurs along a spectrum that includes everything from accessing basic necessities and volunteering, to gaining supported part-time or formal full-time employment.

Previous research suggests that individuals gain economic, social and health benefits as they engage at various places along the spectrum. In the Downtown Eastside, creative income generation opportunities, social entrepreneurship, and innovative strategies have been developed to engage people at different places along the spectrum. However, policies and services can be disjointed and sometimes do not support opportunities to engage, or movement along, this spectrum.

The Assessing Economic Transitions Study (ASSETS) is trying to address barriers to employment and economic security in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. The study will assess examples of services that involve economic activity and use the findings from this study to support program and policy change that will positively impact the community.

We want to hear about the experiences of people accessing economic opportunities in and around the Downtown Eastside such as social enterprise, peer employment, informal work, and formal employment; as well as experiences with employment service providers and skills training programs, to better understand the impacts of these activities on people’s health and well-being.


Adults who live in the greater Vancouver area and are currently engaged in training, volunteering, and/or money making activities that are supported by a local agency, organization, initiative or service.

Participation will be kept completely confidential (including from employers) and participants may withdraw from the study at any point without penalty.


Canadian Institutes of Health Research


For more information contact us at:


[email protected]

If you would like paper nominations for your organization please email us at [email protected]

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