Researchers-in-Residence 2023 - 2024

Wendy Pedersen (she/her/hers)

Wendy Pedersen (she/her/hers) is the Founder and current Executive Director of the Downtown Eastside SRO Collaborative Society that employs thirteen full time community organiers and over one hundred tenants to implement tenant-led initiatives in the privately owned hotels with the goal of creating a viable model for tenant governance in hotels and securing the housing stock to prevent homelessness. Wendy has lived and worked in the Downtown Eastside for over three decades. She worked for the United We Can Bottle Depot in the late nineties and founded a social enterprise out of the bottle depot that still operates today called the Potluck Cafe Society. She was a Community Organizer and Researcher for the Carnegie Community Centre Association and during that time worked with hundreds of volunteers to organize dozens of actions most notably the Poverty Olympics and published many Research Reports on the Single Room Occupancy Hotels and on the Community Assets in the neighbourhood. She also founded the Downtown Eastside Street Market and was the Co-Chair of the City of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Thirty Year Local Area Plan. Wendy assisted Skundaal Bernie Williams and her family plus community members to raise the Survivors Totem Pole in Pigeon Park. She founded the Vancouver Tenants Union and in 2018 helped lead a successful campaign to get Councillor Jean Swanson (Coalition of Progressive Electors) elected as the City of Vancouver’s best ever renters’ City Councillor.