'Gypsy Wagon' houses Kelowna man with no fixed address - InfoNews

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'Gypsy Wagon' houses Kelowna man with no fixed address

This man has built his own mobile shelter so he doesn't have to take a tent down every night and his possessions are safe.
May 19, 2020 - 7:30 AM

The City of Kelowna has to provide a place for homeless people to camp if there are not enough indoor spaces to sleep.

But they don’t have to let them stay there all day, so they don’t. Those who pitch their tents overnight at the Recreation Avenue campground have to pack everything up and be gone by 9 a.m. They can’t return until 7 p.m. and have to look after their tents and other gear all day.

So a man who would only give his name as Trzn (Tarzan) figured out a way to make his life easier and his possessions safer.

“I call it my Gypsy Wagon,” Trzn said after pulling off the road next to the Metro Church in downtown Kelowna, May 15. “Having all your belongings out there in the open, they get lost and stolen.”

He said he’s from Estonia and had lived for a year at what he called Cedarville, an “off the grid” group of people living off Chute Lake Road. He had to leave when the place was sold in November.

He put his Gypsy Wagon together in March and pulls it behind him when he leaves the campsite in the mornings. It’s big enough for him to sleep in and he has a big chain and padlock to keep it secure.

“I get hassled if I’m in the suburbs,” Trzn said. “People there don’t like to see things like this.”

He’s not getting hassled so much downtown.

Trzn said, while he has carpentry skills and has worked in the Kelowna area off and on since he first came in 2012, he’s currently not keen on the working world where he would be tied to a paycheque.

But he’s obviously house proud. He’s helping a friend by storing some of his stuff in the Gypsy Wagon and wouldn’t allow photographs of the interior because it was too messy.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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