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

New champion takes over bathtub race title

Trevor Short wins the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race in Nanaimo

Editorial: Be a fan of our unofficial civic sport, bathtubbing

Nanaimo’ Bathtub Weekend starts today, July 20, and culminates with the great race Sunday, July 22

Lantzville politicians deny claims made against them in lawsuit

Civil lawsuit involves an accounting business sold by Colin and Denise Haime

Accident in Nanaimo after artillery gun rolls down hill and damages taxi

Accident happened in Comox Road and Terminal Avenue area Saturday afternoon

Lantzville teen breaks BC Summer Games race walking record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

BC Wildfire merges two Okanagan wildfires

Large plume of smoke seen over the fire was a controlled event

Beefs & Bouquets, July 19

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Sr. A Timbermen can clinch a berth in WLA playoffs

A Burnaby loss tonight or a Nanaimo win on Sunday would put the T-men in the post-season

Final arguments made at tent city hearing, court won’t rule immediately

Lawyer says City of Nanaimo is concerned occupants would consume hand sanitizer

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Most Read