“There’s a church on East Hastings that street people call the hot dog church. I used to work there years ago—in those days, we were serving 200, 300 hot dogs a night.
Where You'll Find Me - for Dan Decoste, a Hot Dog Church on East Hastings
"Maybe less, but it seemed like that because the line just kept coming. They were doing it at least five days a week back then. Now they’re only open three nights. I still go sometimes.
"When I was working there, I felt like I was helping the people of the community. I like to volunteer, helping out, serving coffee. Back in the day, I’d work looking after people in hospitals.
"The hot dog church is a special place because it gives people a warm place to come out of the cold, the rain, and get something warm to eat. It gives a sense that somebody’s there for them, and someone will listen to them, hear what they have to say, and let them know that they matter.
"There should be more places like that where people can go, especially people who are looked down upon. Society looks down upon people like this. Or, at least, I think they do. They look down on people who are out of everything and don’t have anything and are stuck in their addictions.
"I think they should have more places like this because that’s all one person needs: that one little glimmer of hope. That could pick them back up, put them on the right path to a good life again.
"That’s all it takes, that one time, that one little spark.”
Dan Decoste sells Megaphone in Vancouver’s West End in front of Safeway at Denman and Robson.