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Abbotsford homeless camp dismantled; people aren't going far

ABBOTSFORD (NEWS1130) – A homeless camp on Gladys Avenue near South Fraser Way has been dismantled.

A small group of people who lived on the city property were given until 8 a.m. today to get out, as the City said the conditions are unsanitary.

People packed up their belongings loaded them onto the back of trucks, and hauled them away. But they didn’t go far — they simply moved down the road.

Mayor Bruce Banman admits the group will likely end up at another makeshift camp in the city. He says they’re looking at working with the provincial and federal governments on forming some kind of long-term strategy.

There are no washrooms at the site in question and there’s no place for people to put their trash. Deb Lowell with the Salvation Army agrees with the City; the conditions aren’t good. “[They’re] very concerning. Certainly, we have concerns of the health and well-being of the individuals that we know to be residing there.”

Lowell is working with the City and other groups on a long-term solution. “We have been involved in several meetings — and will continue to be — with the City, endeavouring to come up with the best possible solutions in a very challenging time.

“There [are] very complex issues that we’re dealing with. For each individual that we meet, the circumstances are different. There’s not one easy answer,” adds Lowell.

The City of Abbotsford has come under fire for its treatment of homeless people, since some chicken manure was scattered over the camp this past summer.