Today the Ranier Hotel on Carrall opened its doors with a party and celebration. Highlights included a circus theme, Sybil Thrasher singing, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and BC Minister of Housing Rich Coleman speaking. The event theme was feminine, and also featured hairdos and manicures. The formal part of the event ended with a group of women who will be living there singing “Redemption Song”.

Why “Redemption”? This redone SRO Hotel now offers 21 units of housing on the 3rd floor for women who need housing stability as they struggle to live free form alcohol and drugs. On the 2nd floor there are 20 units of housing for women who have gone through detox and want more intensive supports to transition towards stability.

What does this have to do with tea, you ask? As this was a typical Vancouver event, beside the coffee urns were an equal number of hot water urns, and a wide selection of teabags. All varieties, black, green and herbal.

As I sipped a mug of Stash peppermint tea, and ate a tiny sweet cupcake, I wished all the women of the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver safe, secure and supportive housing.

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