Media release and press conference: It’s like the first time I have family — Parks Board decision opens the door for Oppenheimer Park residents

Updated September 9th, 2019 at 10:01 AM

Unceded territories, September 7th – Now that a Parks Board injunction is off the table, residents of Oppenheimer Park are calling for more housing and better supports.

“The VPD, Fire Department, City, BC Housing and Parks Board will have to actually come to the table and talk about supports and allowances to keep people safe and warm. Come down here and listen to people say what makes them safe, make a list of what residents have said they would like and work with residents to make it happen,” says tent city organizer Chrissy Brett.

“They need to reach out to all the nations. We’re over-represented [in the homeless population]. I can count maybe 40 Nisga’a nation here – that’s my nation,” organizer Erica Grant says.

Parks Board commissioners Stuart Mackinnon and Camil Dumont said their decision opens the door to further conversations with BC Housing and the City. “Getting to know you was an opportunity to shine a light, and that came from working with you people here. One of asks that we made is that the City engage with people here – stop making decisions ‘about’ and start making decisions ‘for’,” says Camil Dumont.

“Since I’m here, it’s like the first time I have family. We walk around and look after each other. There’s a level of care here that you don’t see on the streets. Here there’s barely any mess, barely any garbage. The family level I’ve witnessed here is greater than I’ve seen for half my life.” –  Brett, Oppenheimer Park resident.

What:            Press conference
When:           Saturday September 7th at 11:00 am
Where:         Beside the OPS tent, corner of Jackson and Powell Streets
Who:             Chrissy Brett – organizer, 250-415-2348
  Sandy, Brett, Chris – residents of Oppenheimer Park
Erica Grant – Carnegie Community Action Project

Oppenheimer Park is on the unceded traditional territory of the Tsleil Waututh, Musqueam and Squamish First Nations, and has long been considered a safe haven, and hub, for social justice. 

Media ethics – please be respectful of campers’ privacy and understand that tents are their homes. 

For more information:

Chrissy Brett, 250-415-2348

Fiona York
CCAP Coordinator and Administrator
Carnegie Community Centre
401 Main Street, Vancouver BC, V6A 2T7
Unceded Coast Salish Territories

The Carnegie Community Action Project is a project of the board of the Carnegie Community Centre Association. CCAP works mostly on housing, income, and land use issues in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver so that the area can remain a low income friendly community.