A photo of Surrey’s 135A Street taken Thursday, June 15. (Photo: Amy Reid)

VIDEO: Tarp troubles for homeless on Surrey’s 135A Street

City says tarp rules are a safety effort, but advocate fears for the health of those living in tents

WHALLEY — A woman who runs a pop-up soup kitchen in Whalley is crying foul after learning homeless people living in tents have been asked to remove tarps.

“Their health is important too. People got soaked,” said Erin Schulte of her visit on Thursday night. “Just soaked.”

Posted by Erin Schulte on Thursday, June 15, 2017

Schulte shot a video while sitting in her van as rain poured outside.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever tented in weather like this but you will not last two hours in it,” she said in her live Facebook video. “You will be soaked. Then once your stuff gets soaked and it continues to rain for days, you’ve lost everything you have because you have no ability to dry your stuff. Hence, why I have all these blankets in the back.”

She estimated she handed out 50 blankets that day.

Schulte called on people to write to city hall.

Surrey’s bylaw enforcement manager Jas Rehal said it’s true that people are being asked to remove tarps, but that it’s a safety effort.

“What we want to remove is people that have a tent, then they put up a tarp that connects to another tent,” he explained. “It turns out being a very long structure that is not safe.

“We don’t want people to be soaked,” he added.

Rehal said this is one of many safety efforts along 135A Street. No open flames or lanterns are allowed in the tents along the street in an effort to avoid fires.

“We want to try to keep the area clean and safe,” said Rehal. “With all the tarps, there is not enough safe separation. But we will work with everyone to achieve it.”

Next week, Rehal added, there is a cleanup happening with street cleaners, and “on those days we like to make everyone be in compliance with the rules, as it is easier as everything is moved and placed back.”

“Weather is always taken into consideration,” noted Rehal, “along with everyone’s safety.”

amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Just Posted

White Rock taxpayers on the hook for Memorial Park upgrades delay

Mayor says the province is ‘waffling’ on granting permission to go ahead with project

Coffee with a Cop held in South Surrey

‘Sensational media,’ hazards, and inner-workings of RCMP discussed

Surrey School District refuses to rent Bell Centre for Parents United Canada rally

Group is seeking court injunction to stop an LGBTQ program in public schools

Off-duty officer, store staff struck in South Surrey altercation

One arrested following suspected theft in Grandview Corners

EXCLUSIVE: Surrey collecting fees on more than 2,400 illegal suites, documents reveal

That works out to more than $1 million in fees collected annually

SLIDESHOW: PAN’s week in pictures

Highlights from this week’s Peace Arch News

Holy Heritage Rail Batman: Superheros come to Cloverdale historic train

The Fraser Valley Heritage Rail is hosting its third annual Halloween rail adventure Oct 28, 29

Surrey Eagles prep for road tilt with first-place Vernon Vipers

After a Friday night game against Wenatchee, the Birds take aim at BCHL leaders Saturday

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

‘Hearties’ descend on Langley

Fans of TV show ‘When Calls the Heart’ have gathered in Langley for the Hearties Family Reunion

Most Read