The city shifts to “providing information” as the Vancouver DTES withdrawal enters Day 2 – BC

Efforts to remove a homeless encampment from Vancouver’s East Hastings Street resumed on Wednesday, with city officials shifting their focus to “providing information” to those without shelter.

The move comes a day after efforts to clear Block 100 fell into chaos on Tuesday, with allegations of assault from both police and activists.

Hastings Street, near Main Street, has become the site of the city’s newest encampment, with numerous structures, including tents and tarps, crowded in front of buildings on either side of the street. Late last month, Vancouver Fire Chief Karen Fry issued an order to evacuate the buildings, citing fire hazards.

In a media release on Wednesday afternoon, the city said staff are trying to approach people with “respect and sensitivity” and support “voluntary removal of tents and belongings through conversation.”

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‘Compassion required’: Tension rises on Hastings Street over tent city clearing

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“Staff yesterday heard from community members that more clarity and information regarding storage and other services would be desirable as there is still some confusion surrounding the availability of storage options and other services,” the city said.

“We focused our efforts today (Wednesday) on providing that information.”

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Chaos as City of Vancouver employees enter East Hastings tent and buildings

Chaos as City of Vancouver employees enter East Hastings tent and buildings

While police were on hand during Tuesday’s break-out efforts, both the city and the Vancouver Police Department said a large police presence — and the subsequent altercation — later that afternoon — was unrelated to the structure’s removal.

Carnegie Center employees called police around 3 p.m. to report someone who was throwing computers and behaving “unexpectedly,” the city said.

A crowd formed during the man’s arrest, which the city said became “combative.”

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Chaos erupts on East Hastings Street as Vancouver employees begin clearing tents

Vancouver police claim several officers were arrested during the ensuing “fight,” while activists from the area claimed the heavy police presence created a threatening environment and officers used excessive force.

Meanwhile, questions remain about where those displaced from Hastings Street will go.

Unlike the eviction of the Strathcona Park homeless camp, provincial officials have not increased their efforts to accommodate people on the streets.

“I really don’t have any other options,” a man, who did not give his name, told Global News on Tuesday.

“So I’ll probably just stay where I am until they confiscate my belongings or provide them with a proper and safe place.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. The city shifts to “providing information” as the Vancouver DTES withdrawal enters Day 2 – BC


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