It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Mike Henry. Mike was born in Trinidad in 1944 and came to Canada in 1967. For 30 years he dedicated his life to supporting people who live in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (DTES). Mike began working in the DTES in the late 1990's with John Turvey at Canada's first needle exchange (DEYAS).
He was an early member of VANDU (Vancouver Area Network of Drugs Users) and took part in the community-led movement to create services for drug users in the DTES. He was an integral part of Insite's staff since the opening of the site in 2003 and was at the site on an almost daily basis.
Mike was an inimitable personality. He was a force for social justice and a passionate defender of his community. He made sure the peer voice at Insite was amplified and acted as a mentor to newer Insite staff, whether they were Peers, RNs, Program Staff or managers.
He was playful but plain-spoken, but there was nothing else 'plain' about Mike. His voice, his energy and his commitment were unique. He treated everyone the same, whether they were a community member, a manager or a government official.
Mike's long struggle with his illness barely affected his commitment and attendance at Insite. Even while he was undergoing treatment he showed up regularly (to keep tabs on us!). Insite was dear to Mike and Mike was dear to everyone involved. Mike will be remembered forever by those who were lucky enough to know him. He is deeply missed by his community.
A service will be held on October 23rd from 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon at Woodwards Skyroom at 131 West Hastings Street in Vancouver.