Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House

Yesterday I attended with a new Canadian friend for a few minutes the Open House at the DTNH on East Hastings Street at Princess Street. The theme was food. Everyone in the NH was very healthy looking and they were eating finger foods. No near-hungry down-and-out people there. I picked up a nacho chip and dipped it into a green coloured dip. I think it was avocado. I was immediately chastised by one of DTNH employees who told me that my mode of eating nachos was not hygienic. Apparently, according to her you are suppose to spoon out dip to a separate plate rather than just dip the nacho in the dip bowl. I stared at this ignorant woman with disbelief who then advised me that she was a PAID employee as if had some authority and she continued on and on that my mode of eating a chip-and-dip was unhygienic. I suggested to her to remove the contaminated nachos and dip. She didn't. Her behaviour embarrassed me in front of my new Canadian friend, Ellen Woodsworth, Suzanne Anton, funders and others who were at the DTNH opening.
PS I checked with two of my Mexican friends last night who laughed at the instructions given to me as to how to eat a nacho. I was told that eating nachos was a sharing/community thing and Mexicans would never parcel out bits of dip to separate plates.
Addendum. On my way out I asked the E/D of the DTNH why there even was a neighbourhood house considering there seems to be at least one community center on every block in the DTES. I was told to take it up with the funders. Another addendum, why are there so many paid employees working in non-profits, whatever happened to volunteers and the residents helping each other. Maybe it has something to do with creating union wage/make work projects. Funders just give give give give only to say that they give give give give.

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