Striving for Change

“We’re a hub for folks when they don’t have anywhere else to go. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we’re here to help.” – Cristien Donhuysen, Program Manager

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We Are


For over 135 years, we’ve been on a mission to seek a just society by nurturing each person’s spirit through ministry, housing, advocacy, and community service.

How We Help

We seek a just society by nurturing each person’s spirit through community services, housing, advocacy, and ministry in the face of the often-intersecting challenges of extreme poverty, historical and personal trauma, mental illness, and oppression in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

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How You Help

Be a part of building better futures through our Community Giving Program, volunteering, attending an event, or subscribing to our newsletter. However you choose to get involved, you can help us remain agile and responsive and meet the most pressing needs of our time.

How You Can Help

A Sanctuary Within our Community

We are on the frontlines

We operate from a harm reduction perspective to meet our community’s needs and provide essential services, connection and healing. As a low barrier service provider, we welcome and affirm every individual from all walks of life without exception.
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Our Work

We’re building better futures by responding to the most pressing needs of our community: providing essential services, connection, and healing. We provide direct support to our neighbours in the Downtown Eastside and advocate for compassion, dignity, and justice for the community.

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Latest news

Black Excellence Day

Date 14 Jan, 2022

Category Blog

Guest post by Stephanie Kallstrom, Case Planner, FIRST UNITED On this day of January 14th, 2022 (on January 15th each year or on the preceding Friday if it falls on a weekend or holiday) marks the first year that the province of British Columbia has proclaimed ‘Black Excellence Day’! It is to celebrate the outstanding […]

‘You Give, We Build’ Continues!

Date 11 Jan, 2022

Category Blog

After the great success that the ‘you give, we build’ project had with filling orders during the holiday season, amateur carpenters and long-time supporters Don Robertson and Ross White decided to carry on their project into 2022! Under the name 1/2 Inch Either Way Carpenters, this dynamic duo are taking orders to build furniture and home […]

1 Million Reasons to say Thank You

Date 5 Jan, 2022

Category Blog, First Forward

We have some truly outstanding news to share with you: over the past six weeks, we ran two parallel campaigns for critically-needed donations: we had to raise $450,000 for our ongoing programs and services, and $500,000 for the redevelopment of our new building. It was an ambitious undertaking, but one that we felt optimistic about because our community […]

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Join us for virtual and in-person events to learn more about FIRST and connect with our community.


May 30

15th Annual First United Golf Tournament

$ $275