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City makes shelter space available for campers at 58 West Hastings

October 25 2016

Encampment at 58 West Hastings

The City has become increasingly concerned about the conditions within the encampment on a City-owned property at 58 West Hastings and the safety of individuals on the site, including violations of the Fire Bylaw, sanitation and other serious health concerns. It is also increasingly difficult to keep those on site safe during severe weather like the two storms that occurred recently..

The safety of the campers is a top priority for the City and, working closely with the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) and Vancouver Fire & Rescue (VF&RS), the City has been monitoring 58 West Hastings on a 24-hour basis. Since the camp started in July, there have been over 65 calls for VPD service to the site, at least four assaults reported on site, over 20 emergency calls-for-service to 58 West Hastings have been registered by Emergency Health Services and two Fire Chief’s Orders have been given to campers for the removal of fire hazards.

Despite the City, VPD and VF&RS’s efforts, the camp continues to deteriorate, posing significant health and safety risks to everyone on the site. As a result of this continued deterioration, it has become necessary for the City to take action. The City has identified safe and warm shelter spaces for those on the site who require another place to stay. Those shelter spaces are now available. Once in the shelter, our staff will continue to work with the campers to create long-term housing plans.  

For those currently camping at 58 West Hastings who wish to move to the shelter spaces now available, City outreach staff will be at the site daily to assist with relocation of people and their belongings. The City hopes to count on the cooperation of camp residents to ensure that this transition period results in a safe and peaceful resolution. 

Since July, the City has worked with those at the camp on legitimate efforts to solve key issues – including the setting up of an SRO Task Force as well as the announcement of an innovative housing project at 58 West Hastings that will create a facility with about 250 homes (targeting 100% social housing at welfare and pension rates) and a 55-thousand square foot integrated health centre.