Kelly Morris packed food and blankets Tuesday for her next outreach trip to the homeless camps, between Whiskey Creek and Parksville.
The route into one of the camps she visits is blocked by RCMP after three people were found killed, their RVs set on fire and another man was found nearby with a gunshot wound on Sunday.
The peer support worker said she only recently stopped visiting the site that is now a crime scene.
“I was told it was dangerous for me to go out towards Whiskey Creek,” said Kelly Morris, an outreach and peer support worker from the Qualicum Beach area.
“When I was told by a friend that was concerned about my well being, I stepped back. And then all this happened.”
According to the Qualicum woman, that advice may have saved her life.
“I was going to go that night,” said Morris.
“I wouldn’t be here. If I had been there when this happened, I wouldn’t have made it out either.”
Morris said there are 16 homeless camps and off-grid RV camps in the bush between Errington, Whiskey Creek and Parksville, and that over 300 people have been counted living in them. Dirt bikers told CHEK News that RVs are parked for kilometres in the bush of the area, similar to what Kennedy Lake experienced in September.
As a former addict herself, Morris brings them supplies and support and encourages them to seek treatment. But she says in the camp now behind police tape, drugs and mental illness were so rampant, it became a very dangerous situation.
“This all could go away if we had the proper places to put people if we had a 24-hour shelter, a detox and treatment,” said Morris.
“We are a small community, we’re not even on the map for help.”
At the Salvation Army soup kitchen in Parksville Tuesday, homeless individuals were worried as rumours swirled about the attack on the Melrose Forest Service Road.
“People are scared,” said a homeless woman named Karen, who declined to give her last name.
“The homeless community is scared of people who are not just addicts but citizens.”