Temporary housing for homeless is springing up quickly in Nanaimo


WATCH: A powerful storm is brewing off Vancouver Island and is forecast to deliver strong winds and heavy rain over the next several days. So the rush is on to get the temporary housing sites for Nanaimo’s homeless up and running ahead of storm season and their looming eviction from tent city.

Raymond Ahlstrom is preparing for the first big storm to hit Nanaimo this fall.

“I’m just gonna batten this tarp down,” said Ahlstrom.

“Get it a little better than it is.”

The homeless Nanaimo man, who famously returned a woman’s lost diamond ring last Christmas, is one of 300 currently living in Nanaimo’s Discontent city.

He is one of many anxiously waiting for temporary housing trailers to be set up on Terminal Avenue and at the city’s Public Works yard, ahead of the court-ordered Nov. 30 eviction from tent city.

“And be able to feel safe that their stuff is all locked up,” said Ahlstrom.

“Be a warm place anyways. Warm and dry.”

Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog said Sunday that workers are pushing hard to meet the just days away from deadline despite the heavy rains and wind now hitting the Island.

“Obviously that’s going to be tough,” said Mayor Krog.

“They face inclement weather. But the prospect of people living outside is far worse than the difficulties contractors may face trying to get these assembled.”

The Mayor expects the temporary housing units to be filled by the end of the week, despite neighbours of the Terminal Avenue site taking their case against it to court.

“And I’m hopeful that that resistance will die down,” said Krog.

“You know we simply cannot let hundreds of our fellow citizens continue to live in tents or the forests of our community over the next winter.”

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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