Vancouver News | Local Breaking | CTV News Vancouver
Despite new shelter, homeless choose to remain at Surrey camp
SURREY - The City of Surrey and BC Housing arranged for trucks and a team of movers to help a group of homeless people relocate to a new shelter on Tuesday, but many refused to leave.
"My experience in the shelters is that everything you have seems to go missing,” said one camp protester. "There’s fighting. You can’t sleep."
An old motorcycle shop has been transformed into a 42-bed shelter called the Cove. It has several showers, drawers that lock, and it will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When CTV News visited the facility, a team was welcoming new residents, painting the walls, and hanging pictures.
But protesters at the Sanctuary, a homeless camp that popped-up about a year ago near Scott Road SkyTrain Station, say the Cove won’t do.
"They’re inadequate. It’s not housing. It's homelessness behind walls," argued Dave Diewert, a homeless advocate with Alliance Against Displacement.
"Shelters are not a solution," said another protester. "All they’re doing is just taking a little bit, and they're feeding a little bit at a time. But we need the whole pie."
The City of Surrey said the new shelter should have enough beds to accommodate everyone at the camp.
"The city's objective has always been to ensure that we have appropriate shelter, especially this time of year," said Rob Costanzo, the general manager of the corporate services department at the City of Surrey.
BC Housing estimates that half of the approximately 37 campers at the Sanctuary did take up the offer for a new place to sleep.
The others are demanding better and permanent housing.