So, the city is now making the move to ban camping on boulevards... in an effort to stop all those folks from hanging out and living in the middle of Pandora Avenue. It's gonna take an amendment to their streets and traffic bylaw. Okay, then why didn't they do this before? I don't know if you've driven down the 900-block of Pandora lately, but it resembles something like a refugee camp. It's one of those sticky situations, because if they remove them from Pandora, then they will most certainly set up somewhere else. And who knows where that might be.
At least with Pandora, there is a certain containment... the police know where they are, and the good folks of Victoria know which street to avoid. The problem is, there are people who live and work down in that area, and it's no fault of their own that they have to walk through that mess every day. It's interesting to note, that to deal with the camping problem, the city opened up 85 more shelter beds this summer, but they remain only half full. Which means the people camping on Pandora are not there out of necessity... they're there because it's a place to hang out with complete freedom. Kind of hard to garner a lot of sympathy there. I'll guarantee when the weather turns wet and cold, those shelter beds will be full. Being homeless and addicted to drugs must be awful, and everything must be done to help these folks clean up and get off the street. But when those same people shun help, and would rather party in the middle of our downtown streets, it's time to put the foot down.