Ten days after leaving Goldstream Provincial Park campground, homeless campers are packing their belongings in preparation to move once again, this time from a private residence in Saanich.
Chrissy Brett, a homelessness advocate and leader of Camp Namegans, said she doesn’t know where their next destination will be.
“We haven’t decided, until the last minute, where we’ll go,” Brett said on the morning of Oct. 12. “I think we may be continuously chased from place to place by police and municipalities choosing to waste a lot of money on things like that instead of trailers or actual housing.”
The campers expect to leave the property at 5090 West Saanich Road this evening. Brett said at noon she meets with representatives from a society interested in housing option, but declined to say which society.
There are approximately 25 people still with the group, with around 15 people staying in the Saanich camp at any given time, she said. They want to stay together, because of the sense of community, family and safety Brett said can’t be found at “supportive housing that aren’t supportive at all.”
The 10-day stay in Saanich has been a good break for the campers to relax and regroup, Brett said, adding they are thankful to the property owner for his help.
The landowner, Sam Seera, offered to pay for two U-Hauls to help the campers move. His tenant, mayoral candidate David Shebib, had offered approximately 20 campers a place to stay in his yard after their two-week setup in Goldstream Provincial Park.
“I think it was a shock to all of us that a private landowner has more compassion and ability to communicate with us than the provincial government or municipality,” Brett said.