Darien Lebold, a friend and a dog are among those impacted by the ongoing housing crisis.
The trio is parked by Cowichan Bay where they’ve been staying in recent days, having lived out of their van for more than a year.
Lebold says he lost his job related to Covid issues in late 2020 and since then he’s found himself in a catch-22.
“I had a few interviews in Vancouver. I’m usually able to get the job but because I’m not able to clean myself clean enough for an interview even it’s hard to present yourself right. It makes it so you can’t really get a job at that point,” said Lebold.
They’ve been touring in search of housing, jobs or just a better place to stay but affordability so far has been out of reach.
“Because with our income we can’t afford anything. They’re $1,400 minimum for a one-bedroom and we have no money to do that with,” said Lebold.
It’s those like Lebold who have been calling Riverside Cabins, RV and Camping for a place to park and live.
“I’ve had three [calls] today already. Some days 10 a day they’re coming from all over,” said John
Riverside is currently full with 150 people here when historically during winter it would be empty.
A director with the Cowichan Valley Regional District says allowing RV parks and campgrounds to expand may help in the short term.
But Ian Morrison says it’s problematic when people allow those living in RV’s onto their properties without proper water or sewer.
Back in Cowichan Bay Lebold just wants to break the cycle of living in a van but the road to get there seems elusive.