The tent city, which sits on the lawn of a provincial courthouse, now has about 100 residents. Most live in tents, while others have constructed multi-room wooden huts.
In an audio statement released by the ministry, British Columbia’s housing minister, Rich Coleman announced that the government is going back to court as early as next week in a second attempt to shut down a homeless camp on the grounds of Victoria’s courthouse; stating that a recent fire commissioner’s report warns of life threatening fire dangers at the camp – where more than 100 people have been living in tents and make-shift shanties for over ten months.
UPDATE: Dirk Meissner writes in the Globe and Mail: “The government already has a September 7th (2016) court date in B.C. Supreme Court to apply for a permanent injunction to remove the camp.
“Hinkson said the number of homeless in Victoria continues to exceed the available beds and shelters in the city by a considerable amount.
“The minister said earlier that the government has provided housing options for more than 100 people connected to the camp.
“The government bought a seniors care home to provide housing and created temporary shelter space at a former youth jail and a downtown Boys and Girls Club. It also offered rent supplement payments to others.
“People living near the site say their neighbourhood has become an urban ghetto, with discarded needles, human feces and other waste left in the area by the campers.“
Ironic or Ironically.
“I’d rather live here than a shelter,” tent-city resident Thomas Lee told (Michael Smyth, The Province) as a friend hammered nails into a nearby hut. “It’s safer here than the shelters. The shelters are dangerous.”
But residents feel far from safe with the influx of a hundred or so squatters creating a danger for homeowners in the vicinity.
“We’ve been threatened with knives and with a gun,” said Don Allen, the manager of an apartment building directly across the street from the tent city.
“It’s not good enough for us to have 911 on speed dial,” said one local resident “we need 24-hour police protection.”
Since the interview when Mr. Allen gave the above statement, he has been attacked and mugged.
According to Victoria Buzz: “The manager of Norwood Arms apartments, located across the street from Tent City, was attacked and robbed outside his building Thursday night. Don Allen who has become an outspoken critic of the encampment, says he was doing his nightly rounds when he came across a woman he believes is a Tent City resident. He was on his way to tell her to leave the property, when two men attacked him and stole his wallet.” 
Homeowners vs Homeless.
“Don has had his place broken into with many things stolen. And on a more recent occasion, his truck was broken into, with expensive tools stolen. When he contacted (Michael Smyth) then, he said, “I don’t know how much more I can handle.”
“Our apartment has been broken into. There have been robberies, property damage, drug dealing, used needles left on our lawn, human waste left on our property. It’s been a nightmare and I fear it’s only going to get worse this summer.” 
Earlier this year the case was heard by the chief justice of the B.C. Supreme Court, Christopher Hinkson.
On April 5th, 2016 Hinkson declared, “I am satisfied that the number of homeless in Victoria continues to exceed the available beds and shelters by a considerable amount. I therefore decline at this time to grant an injunction removing the individuals who are currently residing at the encampment.”
Mad As Hell.
Stephen Hammond from the Mad as Hell group said he received calls from neighbours saying police and police dogs “were crawling all over the neighbourhood“, looking for suspects.
Stephen Hammond released the following as part of an email:
You might remember Don from two of Michael Smyth’s column in the Province newspaper. The first one tells a bit of what they went through but the second one is a chronological listing of everything he, Laurie and their building have gone through since the start of the occupation of the provincial land.
Premier Christy Clark is trying to distance herself from this – yet she is the leader of our government – and the very same government who deliberately allowed this occupation to take place last fall. Regardless of what is happening with a possible injunction application, I urge every person to call the Premier’s office in the morning, telling her she has to get her administration working overtime to get rid of tent city and under no circumstances to move this horror story a block away into Mt. Edwards where we’ll then have a PERMANENT tent city indoors, with all the same shit going on every day and night!
Call Clark’s office at (250-387-1715). Her staff will do their very best to say either you have to contact someone else, or you need to send an email. You tell the staff – very politely, but firmly – that you expect one of the Premier’s assistants to call you back, so you can tell these people directly what is happening in this neighbourhood and how her government has only had the interests of those in the tent city, and not the neighbours who have been threatened and assaulted. Enough is enough.“
In A Nutshell.
Personally. I think Hal Hannon has summarized the situation quite well on Breaking the Code:
- Many of the homeless are homeless because they don’t want to be required to follow rules
- Others are homeless because they embrace the rebelliousness and/or freedom of living on the street
- Still others are homeless because they cannot maintain a room or an apartment moving in and out of jail
- Even others are homeless because they are totally anti-social
- Then there are some who are homeless because they want you to feel sorry for them
- Many are homeless because they prefer their drug habits to an apartment
- All of that does not take into account the acceptance that some feel by squatting with their comrades 
Enough IS Enough.
Many Victoria residents agree – it’s time we clean up the mess Mayor Helps has created. Here is what residents had to say on Facebook yesterday.
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