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We at Positive Paid Work are very happy to have Ruth Meta as one of our wonderful mentors during our community project of making positive connections! Thank you very much Ruth!! :)

Ruth Meta

Born in Hamilton, Ontario where there is still an award given to young people in my father and mother’s names for their contribution to the community, moved to Washington, DC during the turbulent ‘60s. Returned to Toronto to open a graphic arts business, a paralegal business and finally, an alternate bookstore in Mirvish Village. The bookstore initiated the first organic farmers’ market in Toronto, closing Markham Street every Saturday morning so neighbours could purchase locally-grown produce direct from producers.

Moved to Vancouver in 1997 and initiated a non-profit organization called Common Concerns which supported residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside/Strathcona in their dreams of owning their own businesses. As a non-profit, we opened the first commercial endeavour on East Hastings Street, a Laundromat, then called Clothes Encounters, now called Blue Shell. Went on to become an Employment Counsellor working with people with disabilities and then to assist people who have experienced the mental health system start their own businesses.

I am a strong advocate for locally-owned small business as I feel it has always been a way of anchoring people in their neighbourhood.

  • Employment Counseling Diploma – Certified Career Practitioner
  • Nominee, 2001 YWCA Woman of  Distinction Award, Entrepreneur/ Innovator Class
  • Initiator. Developer and presenter/Executive Director – Common Concerns Assoc.
  • Additional qualifications in Conflict Resolution, Mediation, Negotiation
  • 10 years funder report preparation and delivery to both Provincially and Federally-funded employment related and community-based programs
  • Advocate for marginalized peoples with knowledge of Income Assistance, Child Protection, Disability Legislation
  • Experienced working with diverse populations of all ethno-centric, socio-economic, ability, age, gender orientation, multi-barriered, mental health etc.
  • Adult Educator, Conflict Resolution (Justice Institute) and Provincial Instructor


Past Board Member, Past SecretaryRayCam Community Association

Past Board MemberStrathcona Community Association

Team MemberProvincial Emergency Social Services

CTM MemberBurrard Toastmasters (Public Speaking)

Volunteer/MentorYWCA Mentorship Program,

Connectra Society, BoardWatch; Green Party of Canada and BC


We gratefully thank Frank, our community coordinator and PHS for their support and encouragement while attending this excellent program at SFU!


PHS Community Services Society


PHS Community Services is a non-profit organization providing: transitional housing, supportive housing, 24-hour service, health services, complementary therapy, and harm reduction.

PHS’s mandate is to promote, develop and maintain supportive affordable housing for adult individuals who are hard to house and at risk of homelessness due to their physical and/or mental health, behaviour, substance dependencies, and forensic history.

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