(Stock photo: Unsplash)

Should Surrey create a campsite for its homeless?

It’s an idea floated by a Whalley service provider, and city says ‘nothing is off the table at this point’

As the City of Surrey continues to “monitor” a homeless camp near the Bridgeview area, one service provider wonders if it’s time to think about setting up an actual campsite for the many people living in tents in this city.

“It would be interesting to do something like put in campsites, have the city come in, put in actual campsites, and we all know it’s temporary until people get housing,” said Michael Musgrove, executive director of Surrey Urban Mission Society, which offers daily meal service and also runs a 50-bed shelter which is full every night.

“You could find a way to get water to one location, and people could fill up tanks. Get a couple port-a-potties in there and a couple garbage cans,” he mused. “I’d be willing to go down there to make sure things are OK, that things are clean.”

Read also: ‘FIGHT 4 HOMES’: Surrey homeless call for housing one year after tent city dismantled

Kim Marosevich, Surrey’s bylaw services manager, didn’t shoot the idea down but said it would have to be “explored thoroughly.”

“I would like to think that from the city’s perspective, and all of our partner agencies, nothing is off the table at this point that would help us help people. This is an ongoing issue that impacts human lives significantly,” she said.

There would, of course, need to be an evaluation of what the impacts would be: “What are the risks, and what are the benefits?”

“If you think of Oppenheimer Park (in Vancouver) and larger cities internationally, whether or not there are official plans to facilitate that or whether they just happen and they’re just unofficially existing, it’s in the spectrum of housing at this point in time and this day in age, sadly. People are living in tents,” said Marosevich.

Read also: Count finds 49 per cent more homeless people in Surrey

“Our end goal is to not have people living in tents and living rough,” she added. “But how we do that? Unfortunately I don’t have all the answers. We all know there’s so many elements that play into this.”

Marosevich said as a community, “we sometimes forget that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution” and that people “have different needs.”

Meantime, Marosevich said the city continues to “monitor” the homeless camp near Bridgeview, and is trying to connect its residents to resources and ultimately, housing.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

Students spend night at White Rock shelter

Students hear powerful stories about homelessness on the Semiahmoo Peninsula

VIDEO: Collision in Surrey breaks axle off SUV

Two people were reportedly sent to hospital

Langara College names $25,000 scholarship named for Seaquam alum Kevin Hanson

As a decorated athlete, student, instructor and coach, Hanson’s impact at the college spans 35 years

PHOTOS: Snoozing seal pup captures attention at White Rock Pier

Dozens of seals spent the day at White Rock’s iconic structure

A look at White Rock’s next council agenda

Following a public hearing, council will hear annual reports from a number of its committees

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Environmental and animal rights activists chain themselves to front doors of Kelowna bank

The group is protesting Interior Savings Credit Union’s support of Kelowna Ribfest

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

Cell phone tickets worse tax grab than speed limits, SenseBC says

Distracted driving statistics questioned as B.C. tickets pile up

VIDEO: Giants toppled by visiting Hurricanes

Sunday afternoon play at Langley Events Centre saw a team from Lethbridge defeat Vancouver, 6-0

Security camera records hatchet attack on Langley store owner

Target escaped uninjured, but was ‘upset’ by incident

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

Most Read

l -->