Homeless standoff continues

An advocates group in British Columbia is asking the province to reopen a provincial park just outside Victoria so that dozens of homeless campers who have set up tents there can receive food and other supplies.

Alliance Against Displacement says in a release that the closure of Goldstream Provincial Park keeps the more than 30 campers isolated from assistance because people showing up trying to help them have been denied entry.

Concern for public safety prompted officials to close the campground shortly after the campers arrived last Tuesday following their eviction from another Victoria-area park and a nearby greenspace.

The alliance and other advocates worry that shutting down Goldstream Park could further aggravate tensions already apparent between the public and the homeless.

Morgan Van Humbeck recently joined the campers and says a different site across from the provincial campground would be a better fit for the group because it has more shelter, as well as hot and cold running water.

Although the campers have permission to remain at the park indefinitely, Van Humbeck says the locked gate prevents them from moving around and he's urging officials to reconsider the closure.

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