Dandelion Society calls for all shelter beds to stay open year round
A group that advocates for the homeless in Victoria is calling for all shelter spaces in the city to stay open year round.
Dandelion Society founder Al Tysick says without a place to go the homeless rely on tents and sleeping bags. But with nowhere to go the homeless leave the items where the city doesn't want them -- resulting in bylaw officers seizing the so-called "chattel" and hauling it to the dump.
" You could leave your tent to go the the washroom and come back to the tent and your blankets and sleeping bags, everything would be gone. So they take them every afternoon, I replace them every morning, and this little war goes on."
Tysick says the city is between a rock and a hard place, trying to keep citizens and business owners happy, and trying to prevent a tent city -- but he says there's a better solution:
" In the depth of the winter when it goes below zero we open up about an extra 100 beds in the city where people can stay, and we see a lot less people on the street when we do that. So why, if we can't afford housing, and we do not want a tent city -- and we say all of those things -- let's open those up year round and have a place for people to lay their heads and sleep at night."
Tysick says there is a cost to replacing the tents and sleeping bags, and he is looking for donations. But he adds some things can't be replaced -- like treasured family photos.