Eva Bardonnex puts additional support in her shoe organizer in her tent at Anita Place Homeless Camp in Maple Ridge. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Maple Ridge homeless campers restate demands for permanent housing

Anita Place members claim more homeless than regional count covered.

  • Oct. 24, 2017 2:30 p.m.

Residents at Anita Place Tent City restated their demands and provided their own homeless count numbers in advance of a delegation of local businesses at Maple Ridge council Wednesday that is seeking to have the camp moved.

Tracey Scott, who started and runs the homeless camp on 223rd Street near St Anne Avenue, said members of Anita Place have conducted their own homeless count, going into bushes and old camps.

“We know where people hide,” she said.

They counted names, not numbers, she added.

“We counted out, minimum, we have 200 homeless people in Maple Ridge alone.”

Of those, about 55 are at the camp. Others are turned away. There are an estimated 35 homeless youth in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, according to the unofficial count.

A Metro Vancouver count earlier this year pegged the number of homeless people in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows at 124, up from 84 three years ago.

Scott said members of Anita Place are asking for at least 200 modular units to house those they counted. They also want permanent housing for them.

“We all need a lot of affordable housing. If there’s 200 homeless people here, you can imagine how many more there are everywhere else.”

A man calling himself ‘Grave Digger,’ from the Sugar Mountain tent city in Vancouver, said the Maple Ridge camp and others like it need to stand together until their needs are met.

If police descend on Anita Place, he said “there’s 15 to 20 lads [who] are not afraid to go to jail and can be standing here in two hours.”

Maple Ridge business owners, frustrated by interactions with homeless people at the camp, are scheduled to appear as a delegation before council on Tuesday.

Mark Lancaster, owner of North Fraser Automotive Repair, which is near Anita Place Tent City on 223rd St., has started a petition and said the disruption since the homeless camp opened is slowly killing his business.

Ahmed Yousef, who wanted to lead a delegation of business owners to appear before council to discuss their complaints, previously said he was being discouraged from doing so.

He claimed Mayor Nicole Read advised him to forego the delegation, that the camp is a provincial issue, and that bringing it to council would be inflammatory and divisive.

Advocates for homeless people at Anita Place Tent City said last week they are in talks with the provincial government about permanent solutions to the camp.

Ivan Drury, of the Alliance Against Displacement, said he has spoken with B.C. Housing, and given it the Alliance’s proposal – 200 modular units as a temporary solution, to be followed by permanent housing.

He sees the new NDP government’s announcement to fund the delivery and operation of 2,000 modular housing units as part of the solution.

But the city has cut off its talks with B.C. Housing after the Maple Ridge Fire Department couldn’t get residents of Anita Place Tent City to comply with its safety rules.

Scott said a friend of her’s from the camp is in hospital with pneumonia, that those who stay there don’t have money for heaters or fire-proof tarps.

“Let us stay dry,” she said. “How can it be a fire hazzard when it’s p***ing rain.”

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

 

The homeless camp on St. Anne Avenue in Maple Ridge had an estimated 30 to 40 residents.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Michelle Shipley shared these pictures taken of Pitt Lake this fall. “Such a beautiful area,” she said. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Late fall reflected in the waters of Pitt Lake

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

Families at two elementary schools in School District 42 have received COVID-19 notification letters from Fraser Health.
COVID-19 school exposures in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Alouette and Edith McDermott elementary schools both visited by person with virus

Gary Ordog shares a picture of the white covered peaks of the Golden Ears mountains as seen from Neaves Road in Pitt Polder. (Special to The News)
SHARE: White mountain peaks indicate winter’s not too far off

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

The coronavirus has closed a Pitt Meadows pub. (Black Press files)
Pitt Meadows pub closed due to COVID-19

Staff member at Jolly Coachman tested positive for virus

Thousands of people have either voted early or requested mail-in ballots in Maple Ridge provincial ridings. (Black Press Media File)
Thousands vote early or by mail in Maple Ridge area

Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, and Mission voters are already voting

Working smoothly together on May 11, 2020, health minister Adrian Dix, B.C. Liberal health critic Norm Letnick, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and sign language interpreter Nigel Howard. (B.C. government video)
COVID-19 co-operation a casualty of B.C.’s pandemic election

NDP’s Horgan weaponizes senior care, B.C. Liberal Wilkinson calls for ‘wartime economy’

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island residents warned to watch livestock, pets after bear kills llama

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

A past extreme weather response shelter set up for women inside Surrey’s Nightshift Street Ministries. (Photo: Chris Paul/nightshiftministries.org)
Homeless people in Surrey face ‘shocking and scary’ scenario this winter

Last winter there were nine Extreme Weather Response shelters in all of Surrey and White Rock. So far, during this pandemic, there are only five lined up for the coming winter

A injection kit is seen inside the newly opened Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. records 127 fatal overdoses in September, roughly 4 each day

Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria continued to see the highest numbers of overdoses

Most Read