Bylaw concerned about man living in wooden crate in downtown Vernon

A man has been living in this wooden crate in Vernon.
Image Credit: City of Vernon

VERNON - A man living in a wooden crate downtown Vernon is generating some concerns.

Clint Kanester, the city’s manager of protective services, says officers have spoken to the man on a number of occasions.

“He told one of my staff that someone made it for him,” Kanester says of the box, which has wheels and a lockable front door. attempted to find the individual living in the crate but was unsuccessful.

Kanester says the crate was set up outside the old Liquidation World building on 30 Avenue for a while, but the individual has since moved on.

“He seems to move around a bit,” Kanester says. “I don’t know if it’s the safest thing. He has a heater in there.”

The crate was set up outside the old Liquidation World building for a while.
The crate was set up outside the old Liquidation World building for a while.
Image Credit: City of Vernon

Having a space heater in a small wooden box is just one of the concerns, according to Kanester. He says someone with ill-intent could possibly trap the individual inside the box and also worries what would happen if the man suffered a medical emergency while inside.

The individual appears to be setting up in areas with access to an outlet, where he can plug in the heater.

“To use it, he’s stealing someone’s power,” Kanester says.

If found stealing power, Kanester says bylaw will notify the property owners.

Bylaw officers recently asked the man to move from the public washrooms at the transit loop, where he was plugging in to an outlet.

If the man is obstructing the sidewalk, bylaw will also ask him to move, Kanester says.

In the past year, Vernon has seen an increase in the number of people sleeping outside. In the fall, social agencies counted 30 people camping outside. Vernon council has been urging the federal and provincial governments to do more to address homelessness issues in the community.

The John Howard Society runs two shelters in Vernon, Gateway and Howard House. More information can be found here.

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