A sign at the entrance of Goldstream Provincial Park reads “closed” as West Shore RCMP officers stand guard prohibiting the public from entering. Marilou Gagnon photo

A sign at the entrance of Goldstream Provincial Park reads “closed” as West Shore RCMP officers stand guard prohibiting the public from entering. Marilou Gagnon photo

Tent city unsure where they will go after Oct. 1 deadline

The group relies on the help of supporters outside the campground to determine their next steps

Those living in at tent city in Goldstream Park don’t know where they will go after Oct. 1, and according to Chrissy Brett, the camp leader, they are just grasping the idea of a hard deadline.

“I think it’s a relief that finally somebody was telling us something,” she said. “So that we can actually then create a plan, the 24-hours was always floating around and was really never squashed by the government.”

The roving tent city came to Goldstream Park after homeless camp that had set up in Saanich’s Regina Park from early May to Sept. 13. They settled into another Saanich Park for a few days before being ousted by police and settling in Goldstream last week.

READ MORE: Province gives Goldstream homeless camp Oct. 1 deadline

Brett said she’s not surprised they were granted 14 days, but to take the next steps they need the help of their supporters that aren’t allowed access to them in the campground.

“How the province expects us to go anywhere, they talked about B.C. Housing being on the ground starting this morning and yet we’ve had one person from Pacifica come and pick up two residents,” Brett said. “No sight of B.C. Housing, no sight from anyone from the government who says they’re on the ground here working really hard to find people options.”

Brett said they have asked Pacifica for three u-hauls to help them move wherever they will go. The Victoria Native Friendship Centre opens Oct. 1, but Brett said a rubber mat on the floor does not a home make.

READ MORE: Cold weather shelters in Victoria to open Oct. 1

Tent city appreciates help they have received from volunteers who pick them up and take them to the doctor or the grocery store. Non-profit organization volunteers have taken time out of their work day away from other disadvantaged clients, to come and assist, but Brett feels those resources should come from the provincial government.

RELATED: Province to help tent city and keep neighbourhood safe

Brett said tent city specifically set up at the private part of the campground so people in the community wouldn’t feel as though they were invading the family campground.

Camp Namegans will be holding a “Break the Blockade” rally for general supporters to be able to come into the campground, challenging the government to define their safety concerns. The rally will take place at the gates Saturday, Sept. 30 at noon.

RELATED: Tent city in Regina Park shuts down


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lindsey.horsting@goldstreamgazette.com

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