It’s move-out day for people living in the “tent cities” around Vancouver … but many leaving don’t know where they will spend tonight.
Through a court injunction, the City of Vancouver gave a deadline of 6pm to tear apart all of the camps, including the 55,000 square foot lot at 58 West Hastings.
One of those people packing up is Stacey, who says he’s just staying focused on today … as for where he will spend the night?
“Really not too sure on that, it’s kind of a mystery right now,” he answers. “I imagine you’ll probably hear us, somewhere around the line, where we’ll end up, not saying too much about that right now, that’s a little hush–hush right now.”
Stacey says sleeping on the street is still safer than a night in a shelter or jail. He feels that “tent cities” are really important to him and his friends.
“We look out for one another, it’s really sad to break up right now,” Stacey says. “We’re not all happy about vacating the lot, there are a few people with mixed emotions, some of them don’t really believe that we have to do it, but we have to do it, or we get arrested, we want to go peacefully, we don’t want to cause any trouble or anything like that.”
Stacey says the City was going to give them temporary housing, but that hasn’t happened. “I wasn’t holding my breath for that,” he admits as he packs two recycling bins full of his personal belongings.
City officials have said that deteriorating conditions from rainfall is their main motivation for forcing the injunction. Supporters of the “tent cities” have been fighting City Hall on the closure, even managing to get a two-week reprieve before tonight. They have also been trying to find a lawyer to take the case for free.