Homeless In Vancouver's Oppenheimer Park Have Been Evicted, Where Will They Go Next?
They have two days to vacate the premises.
Residents of Vancouver's Oppenheimer Park have two days to move off the city-owned park as of Monday morning. Police visited the controversial tent city this morning to serve eviction notices to the more than 200 people dwelling there.
As of now, about 240 people experiencing homelessness live in Oppenheimer Park inside tents and other structures, according to CBC News. Due to safety concerns of both officials and civilians, authorities plan to relocate residents of Oppenheimer Park to social housing.
In a news release from The City of Vancouver this morning, they stated that “BC Housing has identified more than 100 units of safe and stable accommodation” specifically for people who have been staying in the park.
Concerns for safety in the area were also expressed through a survey which concluded 83% of respondents want the park to be turned back into a public green space. The survey gathered opinions from 850 businesses in the area, said the Vancouver Sun.
With just two days notice until they have to leave, Vancouverites are wondering if the park’s residents will actually leave and where they will end up?
According to The City of Vancouver Park Board and local fire crews, there have been 17 fires in the tent city in the last six months. Police have also noted violence in the area. The Vancouver Sun stated that there were 536 service calls for Vancouver Police to assist at Oppenheimer Park in the first six months of this year alone.
Fiona York, Carnegie Community Action Project coordinator and administrator, told the Vancouver Sun that the growth of tent city came as a result of two single-room occupancy hotels closing down in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Social housing options for the soon displaced individuals include non-profit run buildings, SRO rooms, and shelter spaces. Locals in Vancouver don’t feel confident that the former tent city residents will take advantage. Even if they do, 100 single units certainly can’t house 240 individuals.
With the small window of time given to find alternative living arrangements, Vancouverites are making guesses online as to where these individuals will go. Some people believe the people of tent city will set up camp at Dude Chilling Park, others believe the tent city will simply relocate to Victory Square.