This morning, we woke up to find that the homeless encampment that several weeks ago moved from Oppenheimer Park to Crab Park is now in Strathcona Park, occupying the tennis courts and oval track.
We sympathize with the plight of people simply seeking a place to live, but we are also concerned that this is not a workable solution for them nor for residents and park users. The park facilities were not designed nor intended to support a large, long-term encampment. Despite good intentions, the camp at Oppenheimer became a free zone for gang activity, violence and weapons. It was not a safe place for anybody, especially the people living there. In the aftermath, the park was decimated.
We hope that, in the near future, our elected officials at Parks Board, the City of Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada will stop passing the buck and summon the leadership, collaboration and courage to come up with a sustainable solution.
We encourage residents to post their opinions and concerns on our Facebook page.