Vancouver DTES tent city to be cleared by Wednesday, but residents say there’s nowhere to go – B.C.

Vancouver officials are doubling down on Monday’s order to evacuate the tent city that has been growing on the 100 block of East Hastings Street this week, but residents say they have no other options for housing.

Vancouver Fire Chief Karen Fry’s order to remove tents and other temporary structures from sidewalks must be complied with by Wednesday, officials said Tuesday, citing “significant fire safety risks” in the area.

“Due to the increased risk to homeless people living in the area, residents occupying the area, SROs and buildings, as well as businesses and buildings adjacent to those buildings, the Fire Chief has ordered Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services to Spokesman Matthew Trudeau said those were issued to try to reduce the risk as much as possible in those areas.

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Vancouver fire chief orders cleanup of DTES tent city, citing ‘catastrophic’ safety risk

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Despite expectations that the order would be complied with by Wednesday, it was not clear how the order would be implemented.

Tents and other temporary structures have long been a part of East Hastings Street, but since the beginning of July a number of permanent tents and encampments have grown in scale.

At the same time that Vancouver police have stopped assisting city engineering workers who conduct daily so-called “street sweeps,” the city says it’s important to clean up trash and discarded items, but which includes some neighborhoods. Proponents say that includes targeting homeless people and taking their belongings.

Since then, some residents of the neighborhood have complained of difficulty accessing their buildings or traveling down sidewalks.

Click to play video: 'New Tent City Unveils with Hastings in Vancouver'

A new tent city appears alongside Hastings in Vancouver.

New Tent City debuts alongside Hastings in Vancouver – July 7, 2022

Meanwhile, tent camp residents say it is very difficult to live inside the poorly ventilated SRO units during the summer months, posing a health hazard.

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The city said Monday it would provide additional support “for those seeking shelter outside.”

Daytime collection of personal items, more public washrooms, misting stations and hand-washing and drinking fountains are among the supports offered by the city.

Yet speaking after Trudeau’s press conference on Tuesday, housing advocates said the order offered those displaced no options for emergency, short-term or long-term housing.

“Neither the province nor the city can identify a single housing option,” said Meenakshi Manoy of the Peat Legal Society, which provides legal aid for Downtown Eastside residents and people facing homelessness. she does.

“Zero. Let’s be very clear: Zero.

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Manoy said the lack of adequate emergency shelter during the ongoing heat wave — temperatures over 30 C in Metro Vancouver and nearly the rest of B.C. — makes the order particularly timely.

She added that housing advocates and tent camp representatives didn’t learn about the fire order until midway through a meeting Monday afternoon, around the time the order was made public.

“How are these respectable community relations?” he asked.

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“When we see a fire order like this, we see it as part of a political game being played with people’s lives.”

Click to play video: 'Man stabbed after tension escalates in East Hastings'

A man has been stabbed after tensions escalated in East Hastings.

Man stabbed after tension escalates in East Hastings – 13 July 2022

Vancouver councilor Pete Fry told OlxPraca that he sympathized with the plight of those being forced to find new shelter, but said he was concerned about the “deep issues” of housing availability, mental health and addiction. pointed to “systemic problems” that require higher government intervention and investment.

“We need to work all the way through and really work with senior governments, with (Vancouver) Coastal Health, to figure out something better — because it’s not working,” he said. ,” They said.

“Obviously there’s a clear need, (but) it can’t be the city of Vancouver that’s going to continue that for the region or the province. So we need a bigger perspective than what the city can do alone.

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At the same time, Fry said Fry’s order to evacuate the East Hastings Street camp was “100 percent bang-on.”

“It’s very unsafe,” he said. “I’ve been there a couple of times in the last few days, and it’s unbearable. There’s too many people, too many objects and things … and the risk of fire (and) danger to life and property is significant.”

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A man in a wheelchair was stabbed to death as tensions escalated in an East Hastings Street tent city.

In a statement Monday, Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart said he supported the order, but acknowledged the impact it would have on DTES residents.

Stewart emphasized the city’s partnerships with higher levels of government to fund non-market and modular homes, but acknowledged that demand for affordable and supportive housing is outpacing supply.

He called on non-profit housing providers to review their available options to help meet the increased need created by the order.

— With files from Imad Aghahi and Simon Little

© 2022 OlxPraca, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.