Homeless campers march past blockade at Goldstream Park, calling for affordable housing

Click to play video: 'Break the blockade rally' Break the blockade rally
Another deadline is looming for a group of Vancouver Island campers who relocated to Goldstream Provincial Park after being moved from two former tent cities in Saanich. Nadia Stewart has the latest – Sep 29, 2018

Homeless campers and their supporters rallied outside Goldstream Provincial Park on Saturday, calling for better affordable housing options.

About 30 campers, former residents of a tent city at a Saanich park, were told they have to leave Goldstream by Oct. 2.

READ MORE: Homeless campers living in Goldstream Provincial Park must leave by October 2

Housing minister Selina Robinson said campers will be transitioned “to shelter and housing.” However camp resident Morgan Van Kumbeck says better housing should be made available.

“It’s not hard to fix these problems. It’s just red tape,” Van Kumbeck said.

The Saturday morning rally was also an attempt to allay neighbours’ fears.

WATCH: Popular Vancouver Island park remains closed amid homeless encampment

Click to play video: 'Popular Vancouver Island park remains closed amid homeless encampment' Popular Vancouver Island park remains closed amid homeless encampment
Popular Vancouver Island park remains closed amid homeless encampment – Sep 27, 2018
“[We want] to open up our gates as a province and as people down there so that the folks from Langford can come down, see what’s going on have their fears alleviated and start building a connection,” Van Kumbeck said.
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The park has been closed since Sept. 19, back when campers moved in. Since then, the province has been working to “decamp” the park.

However, campers and their supporters marched right back into the park during the Saturday morning rally — past police, park rangers and the blockade — prompting some neighbours to make their frustrations known.

READ MORE: Goldstream Provincial Park campground closed after homeless campers move in

“One of the big things that is going on with the neighbourhood, it makes them uneasy,” Leonard Chevrier, who lives in the area, told Global News. “And of course not being able to see what goes on down in the park it makes them ever more uneasy.”

Chevrier said he’s been to the camp and did not see the same kind of debris left behind in Saanich. He’s optimistic about this week.

“I think on the first, our majority of campers down there are actually going to leave and it’s going to be pretty peaceful,” Chevrier said.

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