Waiting for housing
People who have been living in a tent city in East Vancouver for the past four months say the city has turned off their water and they’ve been left with no way to cook food following the confiscation of a barbecue and propane on Nov. 7. And while the city announced the tent city site at 1141 Franklin St. will likely be a location for a temporary modular housing building, residents said they have yet to receive any information about that plan.
“I understand it’s the job of the fire department to make sure people aren’t burned alive in the tent city, but these are grown adults,” said JJ Reich, of the Alliance Against Displacement.
City staff denied water had been cut off but said a worker would be sent to check. The city is encouraging residents to go to emergency shelters.
Jonathan Gormick, a spokesperson for Vancouver Fire and Rescue Service, said propane and stoves were removed after repeated warnings. A woman living in a tent in Chilliwack was badly burned this week when her tent caught fire from candles.
Ward Ferguson has lived at Sugar Mountain for four months. Before that, he set up his tent every night at Oppenheimer Park, and had to pack up all his stuff every morning. He said Sugar Mountain is safer. “I can’t do the shelters. I’m really claustrophobic.”