WATCH: Tent city has officially been shut down, but residents in other areas of Victoria are raising concerns about homeless camping. April Lawrence reports.
Tent city has been officially shut down after nearly 10 months as a home to more than 100 homeless people.
Most campers are now indoors, at the province’s new Johnson Street supportive housing facility.
But that doesn’t mean homeless camping in the city is over.
Residents around Topaz Park have spotted more tents going up in the past few days.
“Everyone is going to very worried about this, very worried about it,” said neighbour Darlene Viala.
One of those tents belongs to John Goddard.
Goddard has only been homeless for a few weeks.
He never made it into tent city, which means, so far he can’t get into the new shelter either.
“I’m refused at the latest place down on Johnson Street there’s no room for me there,” he said.
Goddard is a journeyman carpenter, who was laid off from his job in Fort McMurray two years ago
“I’ve got myself into a hole that’s pretty deep to get out of, it’s tough to get out of,” he said.
He finds work here when he can, but can’t find a place to live in Victoria.
“The vacancy rate is ridiculous there’s no places, I’ve been to I think 20, 28 appointments last week for apartments, two of them ended up being a bidding war, where the prices went astronomical how much money they were,” said Goddard.
While some of the surrounding residents want to see the homeless campers in topaz park gone others say they’ve had no problem.
“I would question anyone who says there’s a major disruption because I’m living right here on the corner have experienced none so far,” said neighbour Edward Pullman.
Goddard is asking for compassion.
“Just because I’m homeless doesn’t mean I’m not a good person, just because I’m homeless doesn’t mean I’m not contributing to society, just because I’m homeless doesn’t mean I don’t pay taxes,” he said.
While he continues his search for a place to call home there is some hope on the horizon — the CRD and BC Housing will begin rolling out $60 million in new funding for affordable housing in September.