May 07, 2020
Constance Barnes, Modo member and DTES Market’s executive director, is currently using a Modo vehicle under the Essential Transportation Program, providing preventative measures to the most vulnerable neighbourhood in Vancouver during Covid-19.
How long have you been a Modo member?
It’s been about 6 years, possibly longer!
What do you use your Modo for, and how has your usage changed since Covid-19 changed our daily life?
In the past I have used my Modo membership to have safe, affordable and easy access to trucks and vans. The DTES Market has a rental service and we rent out tents tables and chairs for East Side outdoor events. As many folks in the DTES no longer have valid drivers licences I take it upon myself to assist in moving the equipment. The peers then do the setup and strike and are paid a small honorarium for their services – I am the “gear chauffeur” so to speak! I have also used one of the cargo vans or trucks to pick up donations of clothing, food, kitchenware etc., these donations allow the street vendors to make extra money so they can purchase their medication, food, rent etc.!
Right now, my Modo van is my lifeline to the work I do in the DTES. I deliver masks, gloves, food, water, cleaning supplies and much more to the most vulnerable people in this province.
Why do you choose round-trip carsharing for your volunteer work?
In all honesty I really appreciate the Modo team, they seem to bend over backwards when I am running late or need the vehicle and extra day. Two winters ago I booked a Modo vehicle for over a month and we set up an amazing Santa’s Workshop, we used the van everyday to bring hot food, heaters, Christmas Trees and prezzies for all the children, old and young.
How can Modo members become involved or support you?
Help me raise funds to distribute essential safety gear for the Downtown East Side – stay tuned for my next gofundme! Donations of food, gently used clothing, kitchenware, all the things that you might usually drop off at the Sally Ann or Value Village are all useful for street vendors.
Some of your favourite initiatives/organizations to support in this crisis?
Paramedics who deal with overdoses every single day. The Binners Project, cleaning the street and alleys of needles and garbage.
Shout-out to these heroes, helping vulnerable communities in our city:
Mary Clare Zak, Diana Hurford, Jose Fernandez Garcia and Colleen Hamilton! Amazing folks that work for the City of Vancouver that I have had the privilege of working with during the pandemic.