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 support women and families who face barriers living in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside by focusing on empowering women with the choice to feel safer, healthier and less isolated.  

Learn more here. 

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 [FULL]

    • 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 VanDusen Botanical Gardens, local festivals 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.
  • Books, Bags and Babies Program
    • This early literacy intervention program for First Nations parents and children incorporates reading, story-telling, drumming, crafts and other traditions of Aboriginal peoples to encourage early childhood literacy. UBC Trek students will support the delivery of this program, interacting with both families and their kids. 
    • This placement begins with supporting the program from October 18 - November 8th 1:00-3:30m.
  • Crabtree Welcome and Referral Program
    • For women and families who come to Crabtree Corner, staff and volunteers who greet them are the critical first point of contact.  UBC Trek students will do a weekly 2-hour shift at the Crabtree Corner welcome desk, meeting people when they first enter the space, helping clients register for programs and guiding families to programs and supports they are looking for, from emergency child care to the community kitchen, violence prevention programs, and the others. This is a perfect placement for students who are outgoing, thrive in a fast-paced environment and interested in understanding the breadth of the programming on offer at Crabtree Corner. 

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: This placement is only open to self-identified female volunteer. 


  • 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
  • Preference given to those with volunteer experience


Hot Meal Program

  • Monday - Friday: 8:30-10:30am (Family Breakfast)
  • Monday - Friday: 12:30-2:30pm (Women's Lunch: Open only to female-identified students)

Saturday Family Activity Program [FULL]

  • Saturdays: 11:00am-4:00pm

Books, Bags, and Babies

  • Thursdays: 1pm-3pm (Term 1 only, volunteers will then continue with the Welcome and Referral Program in term 2)

Crabtree Welcome and Referral Program

  • Monday – Friday: 9:00am-3:30pm (Any weekly 2 hour shift within this timeframe)

*NOTE: Scheduling to be confirmed


YWCA Crabtree Corner

YWCA Crabtree Corner

533 E Hastings St
Vancouver, BC V6A 1P9