COVID-19 in Vancouver: Who’s Hurting?

A research project on the opportunities of expanding the Curb Side Patio Permit model to non-profits




Department of Sociology


SOCI 361


  • Neil Armitage

City of Vancouver:

  • Yuri Artibise

Student Team:

  • Morgan McCulloch
  • Kianna Torvik
  • Roshelle Flores
  • Azumi Hirayama


  • Vancouver Plan


Fall 2020


This project looks at expanding the Curb Side Patio Permit Model to non-profits by using the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre as an example. 

Through our research on the effects of COVID-19 in Vancouver, our group read about the alarming rise of women and gender-diverse people’s elevated risk of precarious, unstable living conditions and gendered violence. The lack of public access and limited access to non-profits orientated to helping people means there are even fewer places for women and gender-diverse people to go when ‘home’ isn’t a safe place. While researching the topic our group came across an article by Lisa Steacy in News 1130 that interviewed Andrea Glickman, a board member of the Downtown Eastside’s Women’s Centre, on the lack of resources and space for nonprofits and the potential that a program like the Temporary Expedited Patio Program for restaurants could have. We decided to draw up a proposal doing exactly that with the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre as an example. Instituting such a program would not only mean more opportunities for women and gender-diverse people to be in a safe environment but could also potentially mean increased access to food, support, and fatal overdose prevention.

We recommend that the city expand the Curbside Patio Program to non-profit organizations and make adjustments to better fit non-profits like allowing for partially enclosed spaces to protect privacy. Patios should also be on the level with the sidewalk to be as accessible as possible. A staff member or volunteer should be close by for assistance and ensuring COVID-19 protocols are being followed. This, however, can be expensive so we recommend the city open an additional application for financial assistance to ensure accessibility to the program and the ability to meet safety requirements like winterization. While we used the women’s centre as an example, this project isn’t limited to one organization. Any non-profit in Vancouver orientated to helping the community would be able to use this model. This could mean increasing program accessibility for those in need or just a safe and COVID safe space.

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