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In Pictures: Portland Hotel Society troubles have a community holding its breath

The leaders at the non-profit have stepped down over questionable expenses. But what’s next for its social programs? We take a look behind the scenes

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Sarah Common, left, PHS farm manager, and Kevin Sleziak, local resident, tend to bee hives at the Hastings Urban Farm run by PHS Community Services Society in Vancouver.

Rafal Gerszak/The Globe and Mail

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Members of the Vancouver Street Soccer League meet for practice at Strathcona Park in Vancouver. Portland FC was the first all-Downtown-Eastside soccer team to go to the Homeless World Cup in Rio, Brazil in 2010.

Rafal Gerszak/The Globe and Mail

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Don Cumberland, a local resident who was hired at the Washington Needle Depot in 2005, is photographed outside his work in the DTES. Soon after being hired he was promoted to Peer Supervisor, a position he still holds today. The Depot, as it is known in the neighbourhood, distributes over a million clean needles annually.

Rafal Gerszak/The Globe and Mail

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Jenni Nelson, left, manager at the Our Community Thrift Clothing store, and Dori (last name withheld), a former Rainier resident, worked at the store run by PHS Community Services Society in Vancouver.

Rafal Gerszak/The Globe and Mail

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Sheree McKay, who lives in social housing at the Rainier Hotel, shells cocoa beans at East Van Roasters on Sept. 10, 2013.

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Rose Pate, right, a PHS mental health worker, serves lunch to a resident at the Pennsylvania Hotel in the DTES run by PHS Community Services Society in Vancouver.

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Brenda Grealis listens as Paula Armstrong plays the piano at the Rainier Women’s Treatment Centre run by PHS Community Services Society in Vancouver.

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Paula Armstrong plays the piano at the Rainier Women’s Treatment Centre. Paula has lived at the Rainer since 2009 and says “PHS has saved my life. My life is just starting now and I am turning 57.”

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A needle disposal box run by PHS Community Services Society seen in an alley in the DTES in Vancouver.

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Mark Townsend, right, executive director of the Portland Hotel Society, stops to speak to a local resident in the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver on March 23, 2014.

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Townsend, second from right, catches up with some of the first people he worked in the Downtown Eastside over 20 years ago at Woodward’s Housing.

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Various art is seen at The Window, a community art shop directly benefiting women and men from the Downtown Eastside.

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Various items are seen at The Window, a community art shop directly benefiting women and men from the DTES, run by PHS Community Services Society in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sunday, March 23, 2014. Rafal Gerszak for The Globe and Mail

Rafal Gerszak/The Globe and Mail

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Meal delivery schedule for the Lunch Peddlers hangs on a wall in the DTES Central Kitchen run by PHS Community Services Society. DTES Central Kitchen and Lunch Peddlers prepare and deliver meals to over 1,000 residents in PHS housing programs daily.

Rafal Gerszak/The Globe and Mail

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Julie McGuinness gives Ina Stuart, a participant of the managed alcohol program, a dose of vodka at Station Street housing, run by PHS Community Services Society in Vancouver.

Rafal Gerszak/The Globe and Mail

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