Saturday, 21 Sep 2019

Deadline looms for Oppenheimer Park tent city campers

The countdown is on for campers to leave Oppenheimer Park ahead of Wednesday’s 6 p.m. deadline.

The City of Vancouver says about 50 people have agreed to move out of their tents in the Downtown Eastside park and move into housing units in publicly owned and non-profit-run buildings.

BC Housing says around 100 units are available for camp residents.

On Monday, approximately 200 people were given notice to pack up and leave the park by Wednesday night.

Tent city resident Gary, who spoke on the condition that he be identified by his first name only, says he’s not budging, adding that camping out in the park is better than living in a single-room occupancy (SRO) hotel unit.

“I’m here to the end,” he said. “Not going to stop.”

The city and Vancouver police have continued to raise safety concerns about the encampment, which peaked after a shooting across the street from the park in July.

In a release, the city says the park has seen 17 fires since February.

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