On Wednesday, a group of 25 homeless campers spent their second day on a rural Saanich property.

They had been invited there on Tuesday by David Shabib, a Saanich mayoral candidate whose son is a tenant there.

Sam Seera, one of the property’s owners, says he was not notified of the move-in and, while he feels for the campers, does not want them there.

Seera has served them a 30-day eviction notice.

“My concern is the damage to the property, the soil, the contamination. It may be condemned… by the municipality, which I can see happening,” he said.

One person, who didn’t want to be identified because of the stigma of being homeless, said he had a full-time job as a carpenter in Victoria, but lost it when he had to leave Regina Park.

“Especially in construction, you gotta be there every day. They need bodies. So I had to take three different days off in a row, and it was just enough. My boss had to let me go, and I totally understood why,” he said.

He said the lack of stability has taken a toll on his career.

“You can’t pack up every day and go to a job every day, you just can’t do it,” he said.

Recently, the province offered at least some of the campers housing in different locations, including shelters around Victoria, but the campers say they’d rather be together as a community.

“At least those of us that are a bit more functional out here are able to take care of those who don’t have those skills and abilities to really rough it through the winter,” camp founder Chrissy Brett said.

 

 

Calvin To