As winter temperatures continue to deteriorate conditions for people experiencing homelessness in Oppenheimer Park, the Vancouver Park Board has directed staff to work with partners to meet a number of conditions to further the voluntary decampment plan, supported by an injunction once conditions are met.
Among the conditions sought by the Board, staff will engage a third party to conduct an independent assessment of the current situation in Oppenheimer Park to provide recommendations to enhance safety, provide support, and seek appropriate shelter for people in the park as part of the decampment plan. This work will be done with a commitment to the principles of reconciliation and in consultation with those in the park.
Park Board staff have also been directed to deepen existing partnerships between the City, BC Housing, and the Park Board.
The Board has instructed staff to revise the current bylaw, which precludes people from sheltering in parks, in order to bring the bylaw up to current standards, in accordance with other municipal models, and to meet legal precedent.
The Park Board has authorized the General Manager to seek an injunction once the conditions are met.
“While we know this will take time, I am optimistic that we have developed a plan to improve conditions for people experiencing homelessness in Oppenheimer Park and to move toward a safe resolution to the current encampment in the park,” said Stuart Mackinnon, Park Board Chair. “The Board is committed to enacting a compassionate and holistic approach to this difficult and complicated challenge that touches everyone in our community.”