Mixed emotions are flowing through the homeless community after the province failed to meet their March 31 deadline to house those sheltering in Victoria.
To no surprise, those still left living outside are frustrated.
“I always had a house my whole life. I’m emotional,” said Nikki Skjonsby while fighting through tears.
Skjobsby has been living at Beacon Hill Park since last August and was devastated to hear this week that her stay would be extended through March.
“It’s very frustrating … this is my house right here,” said Skjonsby while pointing to her tent.
B.C. Housing had been trying to secure one more hotel, however, in the end, they weren’t willing to pay up.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get lucky and while there’s a huge desire to get this done, paying prices well over appraised value paying more than we should be not an option,” said Attorney General and Minister responsible for housing, David Eby.
The province has secured two properties where 70 individual shelters will be built. But due to serious refining work needing to be done, they’ll need another month. The locations of those properties have not been released.
Allen Tysick, the executive director of the Dandelion Society, spent a lot of time this week speaking with campers disappointed about the extended deadline and says proper housing is worth the wait.
“I’ve been here for 30 years and it’s been gathering up and up, the numbers of homeless have been gathering up, so to say they’re going to have everyone inside and really mean it and put an effort on that, I think a month is no time.”
The missed deadline comes as Victoria city councillors voted on Thursday to end 24/7 camping in city parks effective April 30.