“We often see people in the Downtown Eastside sitting on the sidewalk holding cardboard with a plea on it. Some examples that I'm sure you can relate to include: "Spare change please" or "Need Food" or even for those who get creative, "Smile if you masturbate". Although this showed me what the person's NEEDS were, I realized it wasn't reflective of what the person's story was. To find out, I decided -- why not ask a question that helped me learn about who a person was rather than their needs only?” - Christina Wong, Executive Director of Employ to Empower
The first Cardboard Project features a collection of 100+ responses written by Vancouver's Downtown Eastside sharing something in their past that's changed who they are today. The cardboard responses boiled down to three main themes: Human Connection, Addiction and Recovery.