WATCH: A homeless encampment behind a sewage pumping station on Comox Road in Courtenay has been home to a growing number of people for about eight months.
Brenda Finney made one of her regular visits to see her son in a Courtenay homeless camp Monday.
Kevin is 39 and has been homeless off and on for 25 years. He has mental health and addiction issues and while many other parents have given up on their kids in the same situation, his mom has never stopped trying to help him.
“Because there’s always hope. It’s not over til it’s over and he seems to be trying to better himself and he’s on the methadone program now and he seems to be taking better care of himself, so I’m here to help him,” said Brenda.
In January, he barely escaped his burning tent after kicking over a propane heater in his sleep. He lost everything he owned at the time.
He said being homeless is tough but that he has nowhere else to go.
“It’s difficult absolutely, but on the other hand where else am I going to go?” he said. “No one’s going to rent to me. I can’t live with my parents anymore, I’ve put them through enough as it is.”
As of Monday at 3:30 pm all 20 people in the camp were being evicted by the City of Courtenay.
The city released this statement to CHEK News.
“This action is being taken following significant safety concerns expressed by the RCMP and others, due to the number of campers and increasingly hazardous conditions at the site, as well as reports of criminal activity. There are also environmental concerns due to the condition of the site and its proximity to the Estuary and Hollyhock Flats. To date, the city has spent over $5,000 on clean-up and restoration at the site, in addition to significant staff resources. People camping on site have been given notice to vacate by the city under the Trespass Act.
The City of Courtenay is working in partnership with the Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness and additional agencies for outreach activities and support for those vacating the site.”
Brenda says she has tried to get her son into a new supportive housing facility in Courtenay called The Junction, but that the 46 spaces were filled up quickly.