Income Tax Clinic—Postponed


Every year Gordon Neighbourhood House help hundreds of West End neighbours file their income tax returns through our Income Tax Clinic. The program is by donation, and available to any low-income neighbour with a ‘simple’ tax return.

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, The Canada Revenue Agency has extended the filing due date for 2019 individual tax returns. This decision was made to reduce the necessity for taxpayers and tax preparers to meet in person during this difficult time.

“In order to provide greater flexibility to Canadians who may be experiencing hardships during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Canada Revenue Agency will defer the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals until June 1st, 2020. However, the Agency encourages individuals who expect to receive benefits under the GSTC or the Canada Child Benefit not to delay the filing of their return to ensure their entitlements for the 2020-21 benefit year are properly determined.”

As a result of this announcement, we made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel all income tax clinic appointments in order to protect the health and safety of all volunteers and participants.

As of March 17th, 2020 Gordon Neighbourhood House will be temporarily closed to the public until it is safe again to open. We would like to thank everyone for their understanding and patience as we determine whether we will offer this program again before the filing date. Please email Jessy at welcome@gordonhouse.org for more information.


Supporting the Unist’ot’en Healing Center

On February 21st, Gordon House will be directing proceeds from both Attic Thrift Store locations to the Unist’ot’en Healing Center. Learn more below.

Freda Huson and volunteers working on the Unist’ot’en Healing Center (2015)

As a society we are just beginning to confront our shared colonial past and present, and to address the longstanding wrongs inflicted on Indigenous people.

Gordon Neighbourhood House has made a commitment to learning about what it means to operate on unceded territory, and to recognizing past injustices towards Indigenous peoples. Our work to address these longstanding wrongs are guided by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People; the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ Calls to Justice. . Our societal obligations are outlined by the Constitution of Canada and by landmark decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada. An honourable and just approach must include respect and recognition of Indigenous law, governance and institutions.

‘Truth and Reconciliation’ starts with ‘Truth’, and so we acknowledge that forced removal of Indigenous peoples from their territory is deeply embedded within Canadian history. This history stretches from Gunboat Justice to Gustafsen Lake, from Indian Residential Schools to the Oka Crisis, from the Ipperwash Crisis to the Burnt Church Crisis and now, to the egregious treatment of Wet’suwet’en leadership, elders, matriarchs and land defenders.

The Gordon House team has unanimously agreed that if we are to meaningfully pursue ‘Truth and Reconciliation’, we must speak up these moments. As such, we affirm our deepest respect for the Wet’suwet’en leadership peacefully asserting jurisdiction over their unceded territory.

The Wet’suwet’en people have shown significant leadership in supporting individuals to heal from intergenerational trauma. This work has happened in large part through the Unist’ot’en Healing Center. Built in 2015, the Healing Center has hosted addiction programs, women’s groups, cultural workshops and language schools. Grounded in the principle of connection to land, the Healing Centre has provided life-saving support to many Indigenous and non-Indigenous people on their healing journey – including members of our own Downtown community.

As a place-based organization that deeply believes in every person’s right to heal, we honor and respect the work and approach of the Unist’ot’en Healing Center. That’s why on February 21st, 2020, Gordon House will directing all proceeds from both Attic Thrift Store locations to the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre. We ask you to join with us in this important initiative. For store hours, please click here.

In the coming weeks and months, we will be hosting more educational events related to this topic for our community to learn and grow. We are proud to work in partnership with our community — please email us at welcome@gordonhouse.org if you’d like to get involved or if we can support an event of your own.


Welcome to the New GNH Vice Chair, Jill Porter!

Scott Douglas Jacobsen

March, 2017

A big welcome to a new member of the executive team, Jill Porter! She is a community development advisor at the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Centre for Community Engaged Learning who also lives in the community served by GNH. Jill is the new vice chair for the advisory board. She has a background of over 20 years in non-profit, community and partnership development work.

Jill has worked in inner city communities through various non-profit organizations and government roles but for the past 5 years with UBC. “It was a new role when I began”, Jill said, “It was geared towards our Centre connecting with community organizations in different ways.” Through it, she found Gordon Neighbourhood House (GNH).

Over time, the relationship between GNH and Jill grew, especially since she lives in Vancouver’s West End. Her inclusion in the community was an additional pull for the position as well. Jill said, “I live there. I knew about GNH over the years through interacting with neighbourhood houses. It was a matter of reaching out.”

Jill had conversations with Paul and the team to look for ways in which the Centre at UBC, where she works, could collaborate with the GNH community. “I got excited,” Jill gushed, “I was inspired by Paul and the work that he is doing at GNH.”

Another attraction to becoming a member of the board for GNH was that she had “never been on a board of a community organization that was in my own neighbourhood.”

The role of vice chair of the advisory board for GNH is new. Board positions are traditionally 3-year terms. She is beginning her second term with this new role. “The first year I was on the advisory board, I was a member. The next two years, I was in a recording role.” Jill said, “I saw this as an opportunity to step up and take on more of a leadership role in the advisory board and help Paul and the CAB chair James Kim, with a lot of that work.”

When asked about the core value of GNH, she said, “What appeals to me, and what I believe the core values are, are inclusion, accessibility, reciprocity, just those opportunities around just being responsive and inclusive of the needs of community.” The values that support an organization to stay connected and in touch with its community.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Gordon Neighbourhood House Community Journalist/Blogger. He founded In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing.