‘Where else do they want us to go?’ Downtown Eastside residents face uncertain future in wake of tent removals

Advocates say city’s approach has broken community, driven people into isolation

The full news story can be found here: CBC News Vancouver

Housing programs full

Since the start of the tent removal, at least one or two people are showing up every day at the Bloom Group Community Services Society, which offers housing support for residents in the Downtown Eastside

But there is no space for them, executive director Elizabeth Barnett says. 

“We are doing our best to support folks, but if the programs are full … there’s not really anywhere people can go,” said Barnett, adding that she feels disappointed and angry with how the city has dealt with the encampment. 

“I’ve noticed more people in the alleys, in darker corners, people on their own, more than I’ve seen before,” she said. 

Advocates worry the displacement means more people will use potentially toxic drugs alone.

Barnett says she’d like the city to embrace a wider range of housing alternatives such as a campground and more harm reduction facilities, as well as subsidies for landlords to support people.