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Downtown Eastside Jobs (DTES)

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is developing the next generation of health services for Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood (DTES) – home to nearly 18,000 residents, many with complex health and social challenges. The community dynamics and health needs have changed over the past ten years and VCH is developing a more integrated health system that will coordinate services around client needs. This includes working closely with community service providers to ensure provision of client-centered, evidence-based and cost-effective care within a cohesive network of community based health services.

We have jobs for healthcare professionals who are interested in contributing to improved health outcomes and quality of life for people with complex needs in the DTES.

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Vancouver Coastal Health is opening Connections, a new resource that will provide highly accessible addictions treatment and a range of services in the Downtown Eastside (DTES). Located on Powell Street near Oppenheimer Park, Connections will offer a welcoming drop-in environment offering nutrition, safety, and connections to other health services when clients are ready to transition.

You can be a part of this interdisciplinary team whose focus will be to reduce preventable health complications by engaging marginalized people through clinic-based and outreach services to reduce barriers and increase capacity to care for people with untreated addictions in the DTES.

Connections will provide primary care, harm reduction, and substance use treatment using a framework which includes trauma-informed practice and cultural safety most specifically for Aboriginal people.

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Downtown Eastside health workers


Part of a continuum of services for people with chronic drug addiction, InSite was designed to be accessible to injection drug users who are not well connected to health care services. It’s part of a continuum of care for people with addiction, mental illness and HIV/AIDS. InSite is the first rung on the ladder from chronic drug addiction to possible recovery; from being ill to becoming well.

Many of our clients are older and have been using drugs for a long time. Their long-term drug use and chaotic lives have seriously compromised their overall health. About half of the people who use InSite are marginalized, which means they are homeless or living in shelters or have significant mental health issues.

Through InSite, clients develop trusting relationships with our health care and social workers, making them more likely to pursue withdrawal management (detox), addiction counselling and other addiction treatment services.

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Insite safe injection location

Intensive Case Management Team

The DTES Intensive Case Management (ICM) teams are part of Vancouver Coastal Health’s outreach service model. These multidisciplinary teams offer health services and support to people living in the Downtown Eastside who may not have a fixed address or have difficulty accessing existing services due to a variety of health-related reasons including unstable psychosocial issues.

The teams will serve clients with complex care needs who frequently use Emergency Departments and In-patient Services at hospitals. The Intensive Case Management teams will meet clients where they are at, and support shelters and housing providers to assist individuals with physical and/or mental health issues. The teams will be comprised of social workers, nurses, nurse practitioners, and health care workers with access to other clinical resources as required.

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The Vancouver Community Housing Intensive Case Management Teams support people transitioning from homelessness into housing (i.e., hotels, modular housing, Mental Health and Substance Use supported housing, etc.). We know that this transition can be complex and that many health needs begin to emerge as people are more connected to a social-services safety net, and have the space and energy to focus on something more than simply meeting their most basic needs.

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 Intensive case management team community

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The Downtown Eastside is home to some of British Columbia’s most vulnerable men and women. The vision of the VCH DTES Second Generation Strategy is to help reduce barriers to wellness and increase access to supports that will help improve the health of this population.

Residents of the DTES take pride in their neighbourhood and  feel the area has a strong sense of community and cultural heritage. They also describe their neighbours as being accepting, and having empathy for people with addictions and complex health issues.

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Downtown Eastside health worker

Employee Benefits

Vancouver Coastal Health offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package, which may vary depending on collective agreement and employment status.

BC scenic forest


Registration with the appropriate regulatory body is mandatory in British Columbia to in order to practice as a health care professional. Please visit our Professional Registration page to ensure registration before application.

Join Our Team

Downtown Eastside Registered Nurse

“I like working in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) because It’s meaningful, both personally and professionally. It takes a very special person, and a very special view of the world to work in the DTES. We are like-minded, open, bold, and compassionate. We have shared beliefs and values, and beautifully interesting insides – and I love knowing that the people I work with share that with me.  We are working on the fringe – on the edge! It’s exciting and different. We get to be creatively collaborative, and approach traditional healthcare from a completely different angle. That, to me, is fun and adventurous.”
Keira, Registered Nurse, Primary Outreach Services.

Downtown Eastside - Social Worker

“For the individuals that I have the honour of working with, they are the centre of the work. They are the teacher, or expert in their story on how they want to move forward with their lives. Every day I’m in the community there is a new challenge and a new skill to learn.”
Justin, Social Worker, Primary Outreach Services.

Downtown Eastside Registered Nurse

“I absolutely feel supported in my work environment. My clinical supervisor and manager are always available when I have questions and concerns. I feel that they work with me to provide the best quality of care for our clients. I also feel that they encourage me to move beyond my potential and believe in my abilities. I feel the same way about my colleagues. We always work together as a team. We help each other out without question.  It’s a pretty big deal to feel this way and have that kind of support especially because our roles are diverse and we are super busy with our own caseload. It’s truly a special work environment. I actually live in Abbotsford and choose to remain working in this area. I think that really speaks to how much I love working here.”
Clara, Community Health Nurse, Strathcona Mental Health team

“The Downtown Community Health Clinic is so rad! It looks tiny from the outside, but the inside is full of wrap-around supports, and all kinds of staff. I’m so grateful and honored that the DTES community clinics have worked towards an integrated care team model. Being an RPN is a great profession as our philosophy is about caring about the whole person with all of their bio/psycho/social/spiritual/physical qualities in mind.

Patricia, Registered Psychiatric Nurse, Downtown Community Health Centre

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