A tent has already been set up in a space behind the Civic Centre where homeless people will be allowed to stay. Photo: Tyler Harper

Camp site for homeless in Nelson to open next to Civic Centre

The city-authorized site will offer a safe place for people to self-isolate

A space beside the Civic Centre has been sanctioned by the city to be used as a camping site for homeless people during the pandemic.

The site on city-owned land, which is tucked behind the Civic, will have space for eight tents that are a safe distance apart.

The camp sites are for people who have no COVID-19 symptoms. In a statement released Wednesday by the Nelson Committee on Homelessness, Chief Paul Burkart of the Nelson Police Department said the initiative will provide a safe place for people without a home to self-isolate.

“This encampment is a key piece of Nelson’s emergency response to COVID-19 for vulnerable persons, and is also important for the safety, health and well-being of our community at large,” said Burkart.

BC Housing has previously said 38 spaces for infected people at-risk of or experiencing homelessness have been set aside at local hotels and the Kalein Hospice Centre.

The site next to the Civic Centre will also have portable toilets with hand washing stations, scheduled shower access, outreach workers and security.

“COVID-19 is shining a very bright light on the need for supportive housing and health programming for our most vulnerable,” said Nelson CARES executive director Jenny Robinson in the statement.

“People need a home every day but especially in a time of crisis.”


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