The deadline for residents of a downtown Vancouver homeless camp to pack up and leave has come and gone.
The residents were supposed to clear out by 6 p.m. Wednesday after being issued an order from the city earlier this week.
“We’re going to stay," said one man who claims to have been living in the park off and on for six years. "And if we have to come back, we have to do it again. But we’re not going to allow an authority to run people out.”
An estimated 100 to 200 people have been calling Oppenheimer Park home.
The city said it had located about 140 units of housing where campers could stay, including recently renovated single-room occupancy (SRO) options, and there are additional shelter spaces available as well.
“I say it’s 50/50," said Randy Crossan. "Fifty percent are ecstatic to get a place. Fifty percent aren’t going to leave."
Those who've been living in the park have had access to supports and to people who will help them pack their belongings. Moving trucks were brought in, and the city's park board offered storage options for those who can't move all their possessions into their new housing right away.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the city said 75 people had accepted offers to move into stable housing.
Crossan, who lived in the park for a year, moved out Wednesday after being offered a wheelchair accessible unit in temporary modular housing.
Previously, officials said the order issued by Vancouver's general manager was in response to concerns about health and safety, and because other options had been secured.
The city, outreach teams, the park board and firefighters have been working in the Downtown Eastside park for months, but compliance to rules including an order meant to reduce risk of fire has been limited, municipal officials said.
There have been 17 fires in the park between East Cordova and Powell streets in the last six months, and police have expressed concerns about an increase in violence.
Despite the order, many campers who spoke to CTV News earlier this week said they had no plans to leave.
A man who identified himself as the "mayor" of the encampment said he'd have to be removed by force. The city would not say whether that was an option.
The mood was tense Monday as park rangers went tent-to-tent, serving notices from the city.
One woman said it would just force her to camp somewhere else, and another shouted at a city official, "Run away, you coward."
Housing advocates have also been in the park for several days and have expressed concerns there is not enough shelter available for all park residents, meaning some will have nowhere to go.
“Tent cities are usually considered a harm reduction zone so people are a little bit safer being all together rather than out on the street or under a bridge or in an alley,” said Fiona York of the Carnegie Community Action Project.
There has been a visible police presence in the park since Monday, but the Vancouver Police Department says its officers would not forcibly remove people from the park at this time.
The city says it is exploring other legal options to compel people who don't want to go to leave the park.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Sheila Scott