This morning we were humbled to receive an email from the Vancouver Police Department with some feedback about our token program. In December the VPD came on as a recipient for donated tokens to distribute through out their shifts. Along with the Vancouver Women’s Health Collective, the VPD receives tokens via online support from the public or in our diner/butcher shop to those who do not wish to hand the tokens out themselves.
Here is a quote from one of the officers as they describe their experience handing out the tokens.
“I can’t quite express the importance of this program. I have worked in Patrol for approximately 19 years. We are faced with homelessness and despair on a constant basis. As you drive by and see people rummaging in garbage containers, it is easy to keep going. You can tell yourself that they are getting bottles to support a drug/alcohol addiction. Many of these people we check have a criminal record, but have not been charged for many years. Too many times to count when I speak with one of these individuals they are thrilled because they found some discarded pizza or other food stuff in a garbage. The dumpsters near Tim Hortons and pizza places are gold. In my opinion, this program allows front line officers to make a difference. We have the ability to have a significant impact on person’s day, when they get to eat fresh, wholesome and most of all hot food. When we hand out tokens, I believe we show these people that they are not faceless and they have not been forgotten by the society. They are not regarded by the police and society as a nuisance. Please pass on these stories because they are just 3 out of the first 20 tokens. We are quite happy to say D1 T1 is out of tokens and we are requesting more.”