(Stock photo: Unsplash)

Should Surrey create a campsite for its homeless?

It’s an idea floated by a Whalley service provider, and city says ‘nothing is off the table at this point’

As the City of Surrey continues to “monitor” a homeless camp near the Bridgeview area, one service provider wonders if it’s time to think about setting up an actual campsite for the many people living in tents in this city.

“It would be interesting to do something like put in campsites, have the city come in, put in actual campsites, and we all know it’s temporary until people get housing,” said Michael Musgrove, executive director of Surrey Urban Mission Society, which offers daily meal service and also runs a 50-bed shelter which is full every night.

“You could find a way to get water to one location, and people could fill up tanks. Get a couple port-a-potties in there and a couple garbage cans,” he mused. “I’d be willing to go down there to make sure things are OK, that things are clean.”

Read also: ‘FIGHT 4 HOMES’: Surrey homeless call for housing one year after tent city dismantled

Kim Marosevich, Surrey’s bylaw services manager, didn’t shoot the idea down but said it would have to be “explored thoroughly.”

“I would like to think that from the city’s perspective, and all of our partner agencies, nothing is off the table at this point that would help us help people. This is an ongoing issue that impacts human lives significantly,” she said.

There would, of course, need to be an evaluation of what the impacts would be: “What are the risks, and what are the benefits?”

“If you think of Oppenheimer Park (in Vancouver) and larger cities internationally, whether or not there are official plans to facilitate that or whether they just happen and they’re just unofficially existing, it’s in the spectrum of housing at this point in time and this day in age, sadly. People are living in tents,” said Marosevich.

Read also: Count finds 49 per cent more homeless people in Surrey

“Our end goal is to not have people living in tents and living rough,” she added. “But how we do that? Unfortunately I don’t have all the answers. We all know there’s so many elements that play into this.”

Marosevich said as a community, “we sometimes forget that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution” and that people “have different needs.”

Meantime, Marosevich said the city continues to “monitor” the homeless camp near Bridgeview, and is trying to connect its residents to resources and ultimately, housing.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Best of Cloverdale’ contest returns

Voters can cast ballots once a day until Sept. 5; enter to win $250 gift card for Save-On-Foods

Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society doing ‘better than we were expecting’ amid COVID-19

At one point, the board thought it might have a donation shortfall of $250,000

Delta artist John Horton named to Order of British Columbia

Honour for significant contributions made to the appreciation and safety of B.C.’s coastal history

Former White Rock mayor, MP shares community connections via YouTube

Gordie Hogg aims to highlight those who’ve impacted South Surrey, White Rock

Man arrested in ‘after-hours club crackdown’ in Whalley, Surrey RCMP say

Police say they received information about clubs, parties ‘springing up’ at commercial properties

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read