I met Sean along East Hastings IN Downtown Eastside (DTES), one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Vancouver, Canada.
DTES is also known as Canada's poorest postal code and a melting pot for Canada's homeless. Access to cheap street drugs, social services, and the singularly mild south coast climate, has made Vancouver the number-one mecca for homeless people in Canada. There are presently around 2000 homeless people living there today, mainly in the DTES.
1.4 billion dollars has been spent by federal, provincial and municipal governments since 2001 on health, social and justice efforts aimed at improving the many problems faced by DTES residents. Vancouver's needle exchange, the first in North America, opened in 1989 and distributes about 3 million free needles per year to users. 40% of homeless people living in the DTES suffer from a mental illness.
Sean is addicted to crack cocaine. A hit costs him $5.