YWCA Crabtree Corner (FULL)

About the organization

The YWCA Metro Vancouver’s vision is to achieve women’s equality and the organization’s mission is to touch lives and build better futures for women and their families through advocacy and integrated services that foster economic independence, wellness, and equal opportunities.  YWCA Crabtree Corner is unlike any other community in Metro Vancouver. It houses a range of programs and services under one roof to help marginalized women and families living in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside feel safer and less isolated, be healthier and more empowered to make positive choices.

What you'll do

  • Hot Meal Program

    • Crabtree’s hot meal programs provide breakfast for child care and housing participants and hot lunches on a drop-in basis for women and children in the community. Food is made from scratch using produce from the YWCA’s Rooftop Garden and through generous donations from the community.  UBC Trek students will help prepare and serve breakfast/lunch that day and for upcoming days, working alongside other community volunteers who are also residents of the neighbourhood or participants in other Crabtree programs.

  • Saturday Family Activity Program

    • Families living in the Downtown Eastside have few resources to allocate towards family activities. Through the Saturday Family Activity program, families enjoy a hot meal and fun and enriching activities like birthday parties and Christmas caroling, as well as trips to the Vancouver Aquarium, Science World and more.  UBC Trek students will help prepare and serve meals and will be part of the program team that accompanies the families during their afternoon activity.  Often the group of families take the bus together to and from the activity, which Trek students would join. This placement is a longer time commitment per shift, but the experience is dynamic and unique for the Trek students.

  • Aboriginal Infant Development Program (AIDP) Literacy Initiatives
    • Groups focused on early literacy intervention program for First Nations parents and children incorporates reading, story-telling, drumming, crafts and other traditions of Indigenous peoples to encourage early childhood literacy. UBC Trek students will support the delivery of these types of initiatives which involves interacting with both families and their kids.
    • This placement works with the AIDP team and in consultation a flexible time commitment can be arranged.

What you’ll get out of this experience

  • Experience working with marginalized populations and issues, the Crabtree and the Downtown Eastside community
  • An understanding to how harm reduction programs run in community
  • Gain knowledge of YWCA Crabtree Corner programs and other community programs and services in the area
  • Basic understanding and experience around information and referral processes
  • Real-world interaction with a variety of community issues, such as mental health services, transgendered women and violence and poverty reduction


  • Criminal record check
  • NOTE: Some of these placements are only open to self-identified female volunteers. Please inquire further for details. 


  • Interest in nutrition and the preparation of nutritious meals
  • Interest in working with children and families
  • Interest or familiarity with First Nations cultures
  • Conflict resolution skill or experience an asset


Hot Meal Program

  • Monday - Friday: 8:30-10:30am (Family Breakfast)
  • Monday - Friday: 1:00-3:30pm (Women's Lunch: Open only to female-identified students)

Saturday Family Activity Program

  • Saturdays: 11:00am-4:00pm

Aboriginal Infant Development Program Literacy Initiatives

  • Thursdays: 1:00pm-3:00pm (Other hours available to be discussed upon request)