Tracy Scott led the Christmas carols. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)

Tracy Scott led the Christmas carols. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)

Candlelight Christmas at Anita Place Tent City

Warning not to bring child into camp inspires Maple Ridge event

Volunteers and advocates for Maple Ridge’s homeless people ate Christmas treats and sang carols with the residents of Anita Place Tent City on Saturday evening.

Chris Bossley, who administers a Facebook Page for the camp, said the supporters decided to do the event after an negative incident involving a police officer and a volunteer.

The volunteer was bringing a nine-year-old child into the camp, and an RCMP officer advised her that it was dangerous, and that there are needles everywhere.

The volunteer responded that her grandson has been in the camp in the past, and would be under her supervision. The officer again advised her she shouldn’t bring children to the camp.

“Connie explained it was good for children to see how other people have to live, and turned to walk into the camp” said Bossley at the event, retelling the incident.

She said the interaction was negative enough to upset Connie and camp residents who overheard it.

Bossley scoffed at the statement that there are needles everywhere at the camp, and clarified children are not allowed to live at the camp, but can visit under the supervision of a guardian.

“We are here tonight, to fight back against the discrimination our un-housed neighbours at Anita Place City… are subjected to on a daily basis, not only by residents, but by the very people who are tasked with serving and protecting them,” Bossley said.

Among those who attended were Corrie Bogaert of Douglas College who brought a truckload of warm clothing from her psychiatric nursing class.

“The other day I was walking in the rain and I got really cold feet, and I thought ‘there are people living here who are always cold.’”

Will Hartman, who lives in the neighbourhood, said he simply came to show his support.

“I want to see a good result, for people who are here,” he said. “I’m hoping we get some decent housing and services for these folks, in this community. I think it’s long past time for that to happen.”

Colene Thompson came with donations from the Community Network.

“We filled Christmas bags with socks, hand warmers, there’s some goodies in there… really festive,” she said. “My whole trunk is full – 60 bags in there.”

She also gets three loaves of bread and three dozen eggs every week, and brings down egg salad sandwiches.

“These are my neighbours,” said John McKenzie. “I have never had any problem with the homeless. People have so much attitude toward them, I tell them come down and talk to them. They’re real people. They might be struggling right now, but they’re decent people, and they’re your neighbours. Don’t ostracize them or marginalize them.”

Homeless residents, including camp spokesperson Tracy Scott, said the residents appreciated the Christmas event and donations, and some joined in the carolling.

BC Housing and the City of Maple Ridge have been in discussion about a place for modular housing for the camp residents.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Conservative MP Marc Dalton (The News files)
LETTER: Recovery is best solution for solving opioid crisis

During mental health week, MP draws attention to support needed for those addicted to illicit drugs

A local letter writer is pleased the muncipality is restricting new vape shops. (Vape360)
LETTER: Maple Ridge educator lauds council’s limiting of vape shops

Existing shops will be grandfathered in but no new shops can open, council decided

Maple Ridge’s Sherry Brosnan captured this picture of Gold Creek in Golden Ears Provincial Park, as a light fog rolls over the water. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Fog rolls over the water

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Pitt Meadows Day was celebrated with drive by cheers last year. (Special to The News)
Pitt Meadows day will be celebrated virtually again

80th anniversary of the popular celebration will have to be enjoyed from home

Students across school district watched videos and did activities geared towards mental health. (Special to The News)
National day of mental health marked by Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows school district

Child and Youth Mental Health Day started by FamilySmart in 2007

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Twenty-nine staff members at Sunrise Poultry Processors Ltd. in Newton have tested positive for the virus, according to an information bulletin from Fraser Health Saturday (May 8). The health authority issued a 10-day closure order, effective May 7. (Image: Google Maps)
29 staff test positive for COVID-19 at Surrey poultry processing plant

Meantime, outbreak over at Surrey Memorial Hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Most Read