Friday, June 30, 2017

-Jackson said residents still need help finding proper housing, but for now she hopes the city lets them stay.---------- Julie Ali · University of Alberta Surely there is emergency housing in situations like this? Why are people moving from place to place like modern day nomads of the last great Depression? It is a human right in my opinion to have housing and the province of BC like the province of Alberta --should get cracking. With the new NDP government in place surely immediate steps will be taken by the government of BC to help the homeless? Like · Reply · Just now

Frankly it is mind boggling to me to see people living in tents in Vancouver.


When I spotted the tent sector of the city the last time I was in Vancouver it felt surreal. One of the richest cities in the world with a congregation of the poorest, the mentally ill and the outsiders in tents living in the middle of concrete. It's still unbelievable to me that this is happening in CANADA.



#SugarMountain--the story of the tent city folks reminds me of the story -The Grapes of Wrath--where we had families moving from place to place in the great Depression just trying to survive and being reviled for their very presence.
In the same way the people who live in the Vancouver tent cities are feared and marginalized; it's very sad.
Housing is a human right in my opinion and all levels of government need to work together to ensure that affordable and emergency permanent housing is present for these citizens.
I have been following this story since last year when I went to Vancouver with my dad on a conference and was aghast to find people living in tents in the city. It was simply unbelievable to me that there were people living in the rain outside while I was comfortably houses in a luxury hotel.
It felt surreal. How was it possible that the city of Vancouver would have empty land that the city is offering up to the province and the federal government as prospective sites for development and no one is doing anything to help the homeless?
Because of the high rents there is no way that these people would be able to even access ordinary rental properties. The city of Vancouver, the Province of BC and the federal government of Canada needs to help these people. Housing is a human right in my opinion and lack of housing is not a reason for tent cities. If there is no available affordable housing for these folks--then that's the incentive for government at all levels to step up to the plate.
We're waiting. There is no excuse for these people to become city nomads going from one site to the next just because there is no permanent housing for them.

Residents of Vancouver’s newest tent city vow to be good neighbours as local businesses double-lock their doors. Nicknamed “Sugar Mountain” because of its…
CALGARYHERALD.COM
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http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/local+news/sweet+sour+27sugar+mountain+tent+city+vancouver+raises/13579605/story.html

Sweet and sour: 'Sugar Mountain' tent city in Vancouver raises concern for local businesses

NICK EAGLAND, VANCOUVER SUN  06.30.2017
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New Tent City Raisess Concern for Local Businesses
Residents of Vancouver’s newest tent city vow to be good neighbours as local businesses double-lock their doors.
Nicknamed “Sugar Mountain” because of its proximity to the B.C. Sugar Refinery, the encampment was erected Tuesday evening on an empty, city-owned lot in the Strathcona neighbourhood at 1131 Franklin St.
Homeless people who were ousted from a tent city at 950 Main St. — where the Lu’ma Native Housing Society was recently granted an injunction to evict them ahead of work to develop social housing on the site — cut a lock to access the site surrounded by chain-link fence, according to the city.
Concern is already being raised by businesses in the area, several of which said they have already been battling property crime and worry what may come if the site isn’t properly managed.
Tent-city resident Amanda McKay said she doesn’t expect her neighbours to cause any problems. “If anybody does, it would be outsiders,” said McKay, adding that those who cause problems will be asked to leave.
“Providing the businesses don’t mind us and the city doesn’t sell it, then we can stay as long as we want. That’s our understanding,” McKay said.
Resident Joyce Jackson said they chose the new site because it’s large, open, grassy, away from dense population and isn’t slated for development.
Jackson said the encampment would be capped at a “manageable” 33 tents and would be kept cleaner than 950 Main St., which was abandoned in haste Tuesday morning when city staff arrived and ordered campers to clean up before the injunction’s deadline of noon Wednesday.
Jackson said residents still need help finding proper housing, but for now she hopes the city lets them stay.
Samson Lang, owner of Rising Sun Motorcycles, across from the encampment, said most local businesses “are up in arms” about their new neighbours, but he feels the encampment came as a result of the city’s failure to help the displaced residents find adequate housing.
“It’s not ideal for us or any of the businesses around here,” Lang said. “But on the other hand, I really don’t think that anybody here had much of a choice.”
Lang said the tent city’s residents have been respectful so far. Organizers spoke with him about mitigating garbage, drug use, theft and vandalism.
He believes they want to be good neighbours, but he’s concerned about a lack of bathrooms, security and the potential for garbage to accumulate if they don’t find housing soon.
Postmedia News spoke with six other local business operators who declined to comment, but expressed worry about the tent city’s arrival. Vancouver police have already received one complaint about the encampment, according to a spokesman.
“It is a priority of the VPD to continually assess the needs of the vulnerable, especially those who live on the streets,” Sgt. Jason Robillard said in an email. “However, we also have to balance the needs of businesses in the area. We will continue to monitor and we encourage anyone who feels unsafe or that they have been the victim of a crime to call police.”
City spokeswoman Lauren Stasila said in an email that city staff will work with businesses to address their concerns. She said there are “no formal plans at this point” to develop the property, which records show was assessed at $1.7 million in 2017, up from $855,000 in 2016.
Stasila reiterated a recent statement by Mayor Gregor Robertson that the city is offering 20 sites of city-owned land, worth $250 million, to the provincial and federal governments for the development of social housing.
She said all residents of the 950 Main St. encampment were offered shelter space through B.C. Housing, which is still available to them, and said city staff will continue conversations with them to find permanent housing.
“The city also respects individuals’ right to protest, but continues to have serious concerns regarding encampments as a form of protest given the history of serious health and safety issues associated with these events,” she said.
neagland@postmedia.com
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Julie Ali · 

Surely there is emergency housing in situations like this? Why are people moving from place to place like modern day nomads of the last great Depression?
It is a human right in my opinion to have housing and the province of BC like the province of Alberta --should get cracking.
With the new NDP government in place surely immediate steps will be taken by the government of BC to help the homeless?
LikeReplyJust now

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