Happy City joins Vancouver’s new social innovation community

by Editor on

We are excited to announce that we have moved our office to 312 Main, Vancouver’s Social Innovation Hub.

For decades, 312 Main was the headquarters of the Vancouver Police Department. Despite the important work done by Vancouver Police, the building was also a place where many people experienced some of the worst moments of their lives, including incarceration in the jail cells upstairs.

After the Police vacated the building, a coalition of activists, governments and non-profits came together to create a new vision for the site. The project vision:

“312 Main will be home to a dynamic community of entrepreneurs, artists and organizations committed to economic and social democracy, empowering one another – and the neighbourhood they are part of – to thrive. Collectively, we will break down barriers.”

312 Main is in the heart of the Downtown Eastside, a distinct community in Canada’s poorest neighbourhood. The Downtown Eastside is home to many people living in homelessness. Others here live with addiction and/or mental health challenges. So it’s crucial that 312 Main work for, and serve, our neighbours.

This means that later this year, the spectacular ground floor of this building will be open, not just to our international clients, but to members of the public, especially our neighbours, to enjoy.  So when you come to visit us, we ask that you show respect to our neighbours, who may not wear Armani suits, and who may not communicate in ways you expect, but who will frequently surprise you with their warmth and kindness.

312 Main gives us a special opportunity to interact with people with wildly different life experiences. Every Thursday evening, some of us gather on the main floor to raise our voices with the Woodwards Community Singers, Vancouver’s most inclusive and joyous community choir. (Where nobody judges Charles for his froggy singing voice!)

The coworking community that we have chosen to be part of aims to contribute to our larger community and neighbourhood in ways that bring dignity, access and love to a world that needs more of it. 312 Main is a chance to bring our Happy City mission home, where it matters most. We will be collaborating with friends and neighbours in ways that help us build bridges with this neighbourhood, and grow together.

Stand by for details…