Less than an hour after Parksville resident Karen Brooks attached hearts to the fence at the 222 Corfield supportive housing site to show support for the incoming tenants, someone tore several down. - Karly Blats photo

Broken Hearts: Display at controversial Vancouver Island supportive housing site torn down

Woman says she was yelled at while supporting incoming Parksville supportive housing tenants

A Parksville woman and advocate for the community’s less-fortunate is disheartened after she says she was accosted while displaying support for the community’s controversial supportive housing project and its future tenants.

Karen Brooks was hanging hearts on a chain link fence that surrounds the 222 Corfield construction site on March 13, with her daughter and friend. The hearts, made of corrugated plastic, are part of a fundraiser Brooks and fellow advocate Mara Nord began to raise money for a small housewarming gift for future tenants. For every $5 donated to the fundraiser, a heart will be attached to the fence at the construction site.

Brooks received permission from BC Housing to display the hearts on the fence.

READ MORE: Legal proceedings continue in 222 Corfield case, no new court dates set

READ MORE: Modular buildings delivered to 222 Corfield in Parksville

Brooks said she attached approximately 150 hearts on March 13 to the fence and displayed them in the shape of one big heart. During the assembly of the hearts, Brooks said a woman approached them in her vehicle, pulled over to the side of the road and began yelling at them.

“[She was] asking us ‘do we support this, what are the hearts for… shame on us, shame on us,’” Brooks said. “There was a digger of some sort operating so it was hard to hear her… so I kind of just turned my back on her and carried on. It was not a nice experience.”

After finishing hanging the hearts and taking a few photos of the display, Brooks said she went and grabbed a coffee and then drove back past the 222 Corfield site. No more than an hour later several of the hearts were torn down from the fence.

“It was just sad and not an appropriate way to handle any anger at all,” Brooks said. “It was just ugly.”

Brooks plans to talk to construction workers at the site to possibly come up with an alternative location to place the hearts, somewhere “safer” she said.

“At this point I’m just really sad. No matter if you agree or disagree, it’s a fundraiser and it’s about hope and love and compassion and that’s my view on it,” Brooks said.

Nord, who is also part of the fundraising initiative, said after she heard what happened to her friend while putting up the hearts she decided to file a complaint with the Oceanside RCMP. She said she and Brooks have a meeting planned with an officer to discuss the details of what occurred.

“I’m really hurt and I’m really mad,” Nord said. “I’m so done with the hate. I’m trying to do so much to bring the hate down.”

BC Housing confirmed Brooks had permission to put the hearts along the 222 Corfield fence.

“The community-led initiative to prepare welcome items for future residents of the supportive housing in Parksville is similar to other such welcome packages prepared by neighbours of supportive housing in Vancouver, Kamloops, and other communities,” BC Housing said in an email statement. “Residents are often quite moved by welcoming gestures like these when they move into their new homes, and it is always encouraging to see positive examples of acceptance in communities where supportive housing is being established.”

The Oceanside RCMP did not respond to a request for information from the NEWS.

karly.blats@pqbnews.com

 

A Facebook post from Karen Brooks shows the before-and-after of the hearts she attached to the fence at the 222 Corfield site. About an hour later several were torn down. - Facebook photo/Karen Brooks

Just Posted

Victoria’s 300th little free library comes with its own benches, lighting

New Moss Rock library marks a milestone for the Capital Regional District

Lithium-ion battery fire damages suite in Nanaimo

One man displaced from home after battery for radio-controlled toy bursts into flame while charging

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal to hear blind community’s case against Victoria bus stops

The Canadian Federation of the Blind says bike lanes can be dangerous

Point-guard lobs no-look, three-pointer for Oak Bay High video

Trick-shot only took three times, says Oak Bay teen

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Nine passengers on first flight after Campbell River airport reopens

Pacific Coastal flight 715 arrived from Vancouver on Tuesday morning

Unleashed pups not permitted in some Saanich parks

Residents reminded of summer dog restrictions within district

VIU leadership conference online for month of June

Students and community members can sign up for the speaker series and/or the excursion series

Telus headquarters to come to Victoria in ‘landmark building’ development

City sells land on coroner of Douglas and Humboldt streets for $8.1 million

Nanaimo man wanted on assault warrants

John Bates wanted following two separate incidents from earlier this year

Most Read