High-profile Vernon homeless camp torn down over safety concerns, province says - InfoNews

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High-profile Vernon homeless camp torn down over safety concerns, province says

Contractors removed bikes, propane tanks, wooden pallets, and numerous personal effects from the camp, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018.
January 19, 2018 - 12:17 PM

VERNON – Safety concerns prompted the province to dismantle a homeless camp in Vernon's north end yesterday.

A high-profile homeless camp, located near the intersection of Highway 97 and 48 Avenue, was taken down by contractors hired by the Ministry of Transportation yesterday, Jan. 18. The crews took down tents and removed personal effects sending the people staying there away to look for somewhere else to live.

The ministry says in an email the safety and well-being of the individuals in the camp is of the utmost concern.

"The ministry was concerned about snow and related road material hitting the camp when road maintenance was being conducted during snow storm,” the statement says. "The individuals had been asked to move earlier this winter, but did not do so until we introduced the more formal process."

The ministry says the campers were advised on Dec. 22, 2017 of concerns that this was not a safe location and that they should find another location to camp or go to a homeless shelter.

The campers were given 48 hours to pack up and leave on Jan. 16, and were provided bags to pack up their belongings. The contractor disposed of whatever was left behind.

At its peak, there were over 25 campers at this location and some had lived there for over a year.

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