PENTICTON - A Penticton woman feared for her safety during an early morning walk on Munson Mountain when she stumbled upon a homeless camp.
Robyn Sawchyn wanted to enjoy a bright fall morning on top of Munson Mountain, hiking up there to watch the sunrise around 7:30 a.m. today, Sept. 27.
On her way down to the gazebo she noticed some trash and started picking it up. Then she saw several garbage bags in a pile, with some scattered on a slope.
Sawchyn started taking photos when she noticed some movement among the bags.
“I was going up there with the intention of a nice walk only to get this uncomfortable feeling because I’m there by myself and there are people sleeping in the bush,” she says.
Sawchyn says she’s sympathetic to the plight of homeless people, who she thinks may be trying to get away from drug issues in the city, although she wonders why they were so far out of town.
This is the first time she’s seen homeless people sleeping on the mountain.
“I saw one person with a blanket, covered up, but two shopping carts, which made me think there was more than one person,” she says.
She posted her photos to social media, expressing her frustration and how she feared for her safety.
“The intention of my post was for people to see homeless people are now sleeping on Munson Mountain,” she says.
Her post received dozens of comments with many people condemning her for what they perceived as a negative attitude towards homeless people. Others agreed there was no excuse for people to leave a mess behind, while some said it is hard to feel safe when coming across homeless people in unexpected places.
Sawchyn says she’s willing to help out with the issues she brought forward in her post, at the same time noting there are rules to abide by when living in a community, and as a member of that community, she also has a right to enjoy it.
“I just think it’s too bad they are picking tourist spots, when they could find a private spot in the bush very easily,” she says.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 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.
We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.