B.C. faces calls to intervene in Vancouver homeless camp after video confrontation
Posted: 2020-08-02 12:20:47    (see more from nationalpost.com)

It’s not known whether the man was a member of the homeless encampment, but Allen said she’s frustrated.

“We’re on the edge. We’ve just had enough. And that altercation (Friday) is not a single thing. It’s a common thing,” she said.

Fry said he believes the issues facing the encampment, involving addiction and housing, fall outside of the city’s jurisdiction and require support from more senior levels of government.

Navigation centres, for which the B.C. government allocated $50 million in funding over the next three year towards in its pre-pandemic budget, would be a good first step, he added.

Such centres would have beds, support and wraparound services to help people with addictions and other health issues find more permanent housing.

“The focus of the navigation centre is to help the people who want and need our help,” he said.

But he’s unsure if the leaders of the camp would accept losing their self-governance in such a model.

“I haven’t been supportive and I don’t think they’re capable of managing this camp,” he said. “This is a political game and an activist approach. I don’t think the end results will be the best for the people who need our help.”

Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Shane Simpson said in a statement that he appreciates the concerns raised by Fry and other residents.

“We’re asking the federal government to step up and join us in providing funding for housing. I’m also encouraging the police to increase their efforts around community safety in light of the concerns we’ve heard from Strathcona residents,” he said.