Demonstrators on both sides of a polarizing issue gathered at Maple Ridge City Hall on Saturday looking for a solution to the region's growing homeless population.

An ongoing and heated debate about where the homeless should or shouldn't live boiled over during the demonstration, pitting those with a fixed address against others without one.

The rally was organized by Stephen Milner, and was meant to be a show of support from residents to their displaced neighbours.

"It's good not to be a jerk," Milner said.

"It's good to show compassion, to show love for people who haven't got what you got."

That's why Milner, who rents a home in the city, feels compelled to advocate for those who can't afford to. He decided to take a public stance that is unpopular with some other residents, like Karen Leo.

"We have issues here in Maple Ridge where people are breaking into homes and breaking into yards and stealing things from other people. And it's frustrating," Leo said.

The back-and-forth between both sides has gotten so tense that the city's mayor, Nicole Read, recently curtailed her public appearances after receiving threats to her safety for her support of anti-homelessness initiatives. LINK

"She is an advocate for these people. She does not give a crap about the rest of us who live here that (pay taxes)," said resident Pam Banks.

On Thursday, a tent city was torn down by municipal workers. The camp was initially erected in protest of the impending closure of a homeless shelter that absorbed residents of a previous encampment that disbanded in 2015.

"We all deserve to have some place to live," a woman at the rally said.

But Leo said she feels like "they want what we have, for free."

It's an issue that is far from resolved, with no clear solution in sight.

With a report from CTV Vancouver's Sarah MacDonald