British Columbia

Campbell River homelessness: tent city pushes for action

In a statement, Mayor Andy Adams wrote that the City has asked BC Housing to provide a temporary housing solution, especially with the city’s extreme weather shelter due to close for the season.

24/7 homeless shelter and action on long-delayed drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre demanded

About 14 to 20 people — most of them homeless — have been at the Campbell River tent city since Thursday.

Homelessness advocates are tenting on the lawn of Campbell River's city hall to pressure the city to provide stable, supportive housing for the homeless.

The tents went up on Thursday and organizer Krisandra Rufus, of outreach organization Grass Roots Kind Hearts, says she is fed up with a lack of services for homeless in Campbell River.

She wants action on a 24/7 homeless shelter and a proposed drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre which has been plagued by delays.

"We will stay [at city hall] until some action's taken," Rufus told All Points West host Robyn Burns.

"I've been here since Thursday night, I've stayed every night … This is something I've started and I feel I need to stay here."

Rufus says there are currently about 16 to 20 protesters at city hall. Most of those people are homeless, she said, and would normally sleep on the streets or at the city's extreme weather shelter.

The City has asked BC Housing to provide a temporary housing solution, according to Mayor Andy Adams. The city's extreme weather shelter is due to close for the season.

"We recognize that the emergency shelter is a temporary solution, and we know that we will be most effective working together for longer-term housing, and for addiction treatment when drug and alcohol use is related to homelessness," Adams wrote in a statement.

The statement also said Island Health has announced funding support for a sobering assessment centre and Campbell River RCMP is working to establish access to health care support and services for adults in Campbell River living with substance disorders.

Rufus says she and some supporters have been invited to Campbell River Council's April 11 meeting to discuss their demands and concerns.

"I need to see action. Words don't mean nothing to me at this point."

With files from All Points West

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Tent city springs up on Campbell River city hall lawn