Vlada's story

“Before I was living on survival mode. Now I can afford to live on my own. I feel much more comfortable and free.”

Vlada grew up in Russia, where she worked as an accountant. She moved to Vancouver three years ago to study hospitality and business management.

Whilst studying for her degree, Vlada worked in a variety of other hotels and companies in the city, earning minimum wage.

“I was just surviving. I had to share a bedroom with two other people, visit food banks and buy all my clothes from thrift stores. Life was really hard. I didn’t have a partner who could help me. But I was thrilled and happy to be living in Canada. I knew I would have to face a lot of challenges, but it was worth it.”

In 2019, she started working for the 2400 Motel as a front desk agent. The 2400 Motel is the only certified Living Wage motel in British Columbia, agreeing to pay their staff and contracted workers a Living Wage. She loves the job that she does.

“I love the motel. I feel very appreciated and valued for the work I do. There are people who have worked here for ten years, and they feel the same way I do – good staff and good management.”

The 2400 Motel were one of the few hotels in Vancouver to stay open during COVID-19. Owned by the City of Vancouver, they have helped house staff from local hospitals and homeless people.

Many of the guests have felt depressed – there isn’t much to do and they feel very anxious because of COVID-19. I get to help these people and I love what I do.

Vlada is one of the many Everyday Heroes in BC. She is working to keep people safe, fed and cared for during the pandemic.

It is vital that other organizations join the 2400 Motel and the City of Vancouver in paying their staff a living wage.