Stephen has a long history working in the Downtown Eastside. He was hired by Downtown Eastside Residents Association (DERA) in 1984 to advocate for low income residents, campaigning for improved living conditions in SRO hotels. He went on to become Assistant Organizer to DERA Executive Director Jim Green and was part of a team that built hundreds of units of social housing, including the original Portland Hotel.
As Executive Director of the Urban Community Development Unit with the provincial Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services he worked with community groups around British Columbia.
During his time with the provincial government Stephen was involved in creating and funding innovative programs for low-income marginalized communities in urban areas throughout B.C. He left this role to become Executive Assistant to Mayor Larry Campbell, working together driving the supervised injection site initiative. He currently is the Executive Director of Strathcona Community Dental Clinic.