Cori Mitchell arrives at Discontent City on Friday morning in her fifth-wheel. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Discontent City campers say there’s room for cars and RVs

Organizers open up Nanaimo homeless camp to ‘hidden homeless’

Discontent City residents will allow cars to come and go through the gates.

Occupants of the tent city at Esplanade and Front Street have decided that people experiencing homelessness who live in cars, vans or RVs should be allowed to park on the property too.

“We’re trying to bridge the gap between the visible and the invisible homeless,” said Mercedes Courtoreille, camp advocate.

She pointed to a homeless count in the city in April, which tallied 335 people on the streets or in shelter beds.

RELATED: City urged to support action plan on homelessness crisis

“That doesn’t even begin to account for the people who are couch surfing, living in their cars, fifth-wheels, vans or illegally crushed into small apartments,” she said.

Cori Mitchell was the first to drive her truck and fifth-wheel inside the Discontent City fences on Friday morning. She recently had possessions stolen from her RV and she said pad rental has become unaffordable.

“I have a home, just nowhere to put it,” she said.

Mitchell said tent city is somewhere safe to put her home and a place where people pull together and watch out for each other.

“Still there’s people sleeping boxes and alleys. They’re still out there and a lot of them we don’t even know about,” she said.

Dereck Paul and has wife have only recently found themselves homeless and living at Discontent City. Paul said his van, which wasn’t insured, was towed overnight, a day after someone had given him $200.

“Just when we think things are getting better – we got money donated to us yesterday towards our van, to get it insured and have it for work… I went back to Square 1, which just sucks,” he said.

He mentioned that more housing is needed – more affordable housing and more pet-friendly housing.

The municipality issued a statement earlier this week that said, “The City of Nanaimo does not support the continuation of the tent city at 1 Port Place,” and quoted legal counsel saying that the city intends to proceed to B.C. Supreme Court by the end of June.

RELATED: City intends to go to B.C. Supreme Court to address Discontent City concerns

“The attitude of the camp is the opposite of the city. Instead of trying to ignore the homeless problem, the campers are offering support for all that fit,” Courtoreille said. “The goal of the camp is not to hide homelessness or to get elected based on an anti-homeless platform; the goal of the camp is to actually combat the housing crisis by providing a survival space.”



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Olympic skier from Nanaimo suing Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Bertrand Charest was convicted in 2017 on 37 charges

Nanaimo police dog’s bark puts a stop to chainsaw theft

Suspect decides bite might be worse than bark when confronted by RCMP service dog Monday

Air North starts up non-stop flights from Nanaimo to Kelowna

Company running charter flights to Watson Lake, Yukon, including stops in Kelowna and Prince George

HarbourCats highlight busy week at ballpark

Serauxmen Stadium baseball association hosts exhibition game Friday, June 28

Nanaimo RCMP issue warning about counterfeit $100 bills

Fake $100 bill successfully passed at pharmacy on Bowen Road this month

Astronaut David Saint-Jacques returns to Earth, sets Canadian space record

Native of Saint-Lambert, Que., set a record for longest single spaceflight by a Canadian at 204 days

Pedestrian struck by vehicle in Stz’uminus dies from injuries

A male pedestrian was struck in the early morning of June 25

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Foot ferry service in Nanaimo won’t happen this summer

Island Ferries says it still needs to secure funding

B.C. senior’s car vandalized for more than 18 months

Retired RCMP officer determined to catch ‘tagger.’

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

Former Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to retire

‘Bobby Lou’ calls it a career after 19 NHL seasons

Man charged in crash that killed B.C. pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged for 2018 Highway 1 accident where Kelowna elementary school teacher died

Province unveils 10-year plan to boost mental health, addiction recovery services

The plan, called A Pathway to Hope, focuses on early-intervention services that are seeing high demand

Most Read