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Homeless People Portrait On East Hasting Street / Dark Side Of Vancouver, BC

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 Portrait / Dark Side Of Vancouver

  icon-umbrella Where Is The Love? The Current State Of Vancouver


 icon-eye When it is brighter, the shadow is darker too.  

Any city has the dark side, sadly. Vancouver is often nominated as the best city for living. Yes the city has great environment, perfect balance of nature and city that make beautiful sight…


It is really clear to see the contrast of bight side & dark side… Some people pay expensive rent for living in exclusive high houses’ buildings (Ex: condominiums, and mansions), and some people are living on “streets” or in a shelter with many problems (drugs, alcohol, mental disease and so on)

In this article, I focus on the Dark Side Of Vancouver. To let more people know the sad fact that we need to know, and to face it.

Drug Country? Vancouver, BC, Canada


 icon-thumbs-o-down Did you know that..?

→ Canada has a big drugs industry. Especially Vancouver is the great place for business of drugs & weed of North America continent.

Firstly, We may do not know what Canada is such a drugs country. So many people often take drugs, “too much” alcohol and weed sadly. Actually Vancouver has the most amount of drugs addicted people in Canada. Now I’ve been in Vancouver for 4 months, and I can tell that there are always many syringes on the streets.

Canada is super cold when winter time (like -40 degrees), but Vancouver is not so much cold even in the winter time, so poor people come to Vancouver from around whole cities of Canada to stay alive. The saddest thing is that they could come to Vancouver tho, there are so much drugs that they can reach so easily and can break their human being.

Dangerous? Safe? / East Hasting Street


 icon-male People sleep, take drugs, drink alcohol, and ask for money…

Just bit away from downtown, there is East Hasting Street that is famous for many “crazy” people are. The sight is like a zombie film… For the first time when I saw them I was shocked and scared. Now I am not scared much but am so sad to see them…

On the street, most of the people are; drugs addicted, alcohol addicted, having mental disease, and homeless or living in a shelter.


Most of them do not try to attack people for money. I have been living a place where close to the area for 4 month, and I have never been get that before. But if you leave your stuff on the street, the stuff will be gone in a second for sure.

Always we need to be careful around there. The people take drugs and alcohol a lot, so we don’t know what they will do to us, actually.

I don’t recommend you to walk alone in the night.

Why are so many crazy people here?

 icon-home It is cheaper to live in the area, and also…

There are

  • Free food provided places
  • Drug Shops & Sellers
  • Shelters For Homeless People
  • Insite Places*


 icon-hospital Insite / Free Syringes

There are places called “Insite”. It’s crazy but this place provides free syringes and room for injection of drugs to people who want to get be high.

The reason why such a crazy facility is exist;

  • To reduce infection of HIV
  • To avoid overdose (overdose = be in dangerous by too much drugs intake)

Of course, it is illegal to use drugs tho, this policy is made by “Canada”, this country provides and manages this facility and rule. In my opinion, probably HIV was reduced, but this is absolutely basically wrong! Is this the best solution to save poor people what one big developed country made? Maybe this facility even make people more drug addicted.


Always I can hear the sounds of ambulance siren running for overdose whole a day, even after mid night. One day, the ambulance car came into the narrow street without siren for rescue a person who I just saw on the street a few minuets ago got overdose. I don’t know the person is still alive or not. The people die here by overdose a lot…
Just besides the ambulance car many people were still sitting, taking drugs and acting crazy…


When people take drugs, they turned to be not a human like.. Some people don’t move at all like a doll, some people do the same movement again and again like some computer game character who is played by a totally inexperience person.


Thief Market On The Street

 icon-book When there is no rain, there is a thief market like.

The people sell their things that most of them were they picked up from bins and on street, and got from a shelter as free donation things. Some of the things are stolen for sure.


Often we can see the strange things as for the street sales…

Also some things are very good condition and so cheap.

They do that of course for getting money, and most of them are gonna use the money for drugs and alcohol.


Peace on the nightmare

Some people beg for money, some people ask other people for money.

Sadly almost of the purpose is for buying drugs, alcohol, weeds and cigarette stuffs…

If you want to help them should not give money to them, but can give food. I sometimes give free good food to them what I can get from my work place.

・You also can help them by donate food to donation food center.

 icon-cutlery Food Donation Center

Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society
 Surrey Food Bank Society

Portrait Photography Of People


I’ve talked people, and got a permission by them for taking photos and use for this blog. Some of the people were very friendly kind and funny, but some of the people could not talk well or were scared of me…


He was an young guy. I’ve talked with him for a while. We could communicate each other, but when I asked him for photography he suddenly has stopped completely like a no battery machine. I was confused and worried about him. He did not speak and move at all for 20 seconds or so, then he said “I’ll look down, ok? no face”.

After leaving him, I saw him drunk a bottle of whisky straight bit.


He was a very friendly and funny guy. He was selling his things on the street. He told me that the almost the things are he picked up from bins and street, so everyone is happy for this recycle.

For the beginning, he hesitated for photography little bit but soon he allowed me with nice smile to take photos of him.


He was very friendly and funny guy too. For some reason he always got a remarkable pirate hat. When I started to talk with him, he showed me his big smile with saying “hello~, brother”. He said he was not born in Vancouver, but now he lives in 2 shelters (back and force). There was definitely something to him in the past, and sounds hard life tho, I saw peace into his gentle eyes.



She was a very kind lady, sitting on the street and chilling. Actually she was the first person (stranger) who I asked photography for portrait on streets. I was very nervous for asking it, but she accepted me with warm atmosphere.


When I said her “you are beautiful” with taking photos, she showed me her nice smile. Yes she is beautiful.


She was walking with his young guy owner who got tattoo on his almost whole body and a ring on his nose. I wonder how she sees the world…


Afterwords / The Reason Why I Mede This Article


 Thank you for reading. It would be nicer if you share this article to your friends, because it can be helped the people if more people know the terrible fact, “THE REAL”. We often focus on only our benefits and do not care about the dark side, but is that way really we should be as human being? We can not only sweep something under the rug…

 I spent for a few months to make this article. What I have tried to do was spending time with the people. I have lived in their close area, visited their shelter, went to a free food center and eat the food with them, talked with them, join some events, observed the people with sitting on the street…etc. I wrote “The sight is like a zombie film… For the first time when I saw them I was shocked and scared.”, but they are human who have mind just same as us. I knew it after I have started to communicate with them. I realized we will never know the personalities each other without having “right” communication.

 icon-frown-o  Everyone has own life story:

I will never forget a girl who has a lot of scars by injection on her arms on the street. I just said “hello” to try to talk with her, then she was so scared of me, and trembled her body, and aimed me a pepper spray. / I will never forget a big homeless guy who was complained about the situation of his life, suddenly cried a lot when he listened to beautiful songs by first nation people’s performance in the winter time with snowing.

 icon-home  Children are our future:

The people must have own stories in the past, and NO one wanted to be like that. The cause is always by their FAMILY (most likely by the parents). When the family turns to be bad, the children are going to have bad times in most of their lives. SO parents, and future parents have to care about own children with big responsibilities.

 icon-eye Let’s know the “REAL”:

In this article, I only focus on the dark side of Vancouver, but any city has problems and negative side even in your city where you live in too. We need to know the REAL with right information. I believe “to know it” is the first step to make the world better.

Thank you,


icon-headphones Michael Jackson / Heal The World

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『Homeless People Portrait On East Hasting Street / Dark Side Of Vancouver, BC』へのコメント

  1. 名前:Hana 投稿日:2017/07/05(Wed) 13:54:05 ID:1741a2644 Reply

    Your article bring a lot of things into my mind..
    Of course we don’t live in a perfect world , it has lights and shadows , we people mostly make it like this ( nature is cruel but is always balanced and it’s self healing) and the poor and homeless people are just one of the many ways to prove this. If there are no drugs they use medicinal alcohol or cheap but strong alcohol, and they inhale a sort of adhesive, they sleep in the dark and dirty channels underground along with animals and rats , they beg or steal but here most of the homeless search into the garbage and sell plastic bottles , carrying with them huge bags in the early hours of the morning.
    It reminds me of this kind of people with whom I went into contact ( while trying to help their animals – neutering and treating) Most of them chose this kind of life and they wouldn’t change it but some of them had no choice, they lost their minds or didn’t have the chance to hope for something better ( like in Plato’s ‘Myth of the cage’)
    I remembered the two little sisters that lived under the bridge close to my house, they looked so different- (so peaceful and innocent) than the alcoholic mother who not long after I met them , she died in a fire provoked by a fight while she and other women were drunk. I wonder what happened to them.
    I remember the skinny man who lied to me that there in a channel was hidden a cat , since I knew it was a lie I put him go in that small and dirty place full with big bugs(at some point it was his home , of him and many others).After he came back he asked me for money to buy food. I never gave them money. But I went and bought some food (his face showed indifference, since in fact he wanted money for alcohol) Some months later I found out (from someone of their kind) that he was stabbed and murdered in a fight.
    I remembered the saddest thing: a woman that lost her mind and became to wonder on the streets and drink , one day I saw her pregnant – and I felt angry and sad.
    And I remembered about the words of someone that I consider a friend – he is a smart young man and an artist – that he’s a ‘psychedelic master’ and told me a vision he had under drugs ( In fact I felt a bit worried for him)
    I should stop this for this night, but thank you Kota for sharing your thoughts and experiences!

  2. 名前:Hana 投稿日:2017/07/05(Wed) 13:57:36 ID:1741a2644 Reply

    I forgot about the little light at the end of the tunnel!!
    I recomand you to watch the movie A street cat named Bob when you can..
    I cried a lot while watching, but it shows HOPE 🙂