The corner of Davie and Thurlow is a hub of activity—people shopping, commuting, stopping into coffee shops and restaurants. For Stephen Scott, this is where he works.
Stephen is one of the hundreds of vendors who sell the Hope in Shadows calendar every year. The vendor program provides accessible employment for people who are impacted by poverty.
Many of the vendors struggle with various barriers to employment—whether it's homelessness, addiction, or a mental illness—so selling the calendar is a valued opportunity for meaningful work.
Vendors like Stephen purchase the calendar for $10 and sell it for $20, keeping the profit and earning an income.
Boasting a larger-than-life smile and an outgoing personality, Stephen easily attracts the attention of passers-by. His unwavering positivity belies a tough past, however.
Stephen, like many of the vendors who sell the calendar, has had his share of setbacks in life. Stephen found himself homeless and on the streets following a series of debilitating injuries, as well as a HIV diagnosis.
“I was struggling, living on the street in a cardboard box on Granville near Davie Street. I was asking for change just to survive day-to-day,” he recalls.
Eventually, Stephen found housing, and soon after started working for Hope in Shadows. No longer isolated, he’s now on a positive path, making connections and building a community.
“I have some really good people who are my customers. People who want to get to know me, and appreciate what I do. That makes me feel really good. I like interacting with my customers.
“I like positivity, I like to smile and make people feel good.”
Stephen’s positive energy can be witnessed in-person when he’s working on the southwest corner of Davie & Thurlow every Wednesday and Friday from 12-6pm.
Find a vendor in your neighbourhood here.