A Simon Fraser University theatre student is choosing to be homeless because he can’t find affordable housing within his means.
“Basically living in the lounge or one of the classrooms right now.”
23-year-old Nicholas Ree says he moved out of an East Vancouver basement suite because he can’t afford rent at $875 dollars. So he left.
Since May he’s been living in different parts of SFU’s downtown campus, but he knows it won’t last forever
“SFU’s coordinator or manager has gently said I should leave.”
A full time student, he’s choosing an education over going into deeper debt — even if it means being homeless.
He also says he’s never considered a shelter because he fears he’ll be turned away because he’s a student living off loans.
“The thought I have is that I’m being able to pay tuition and being able to go to school…that it takes away the livability of being in a shelter.”
Ree says he’s moved nine times in four years.
He doesn’t know what he’ll do come September, he says he might go back to couch surfing.
Meanwhile Jeremy Hunka with the Union Gospel Mission says Ree shouldn’t be discouraged from seeking help.
“Any time someone finds them self without a place to live, and feels like they are out of options or felling desperate, we at least encourage them to reach out to us.”
Hunka says while all situations are different, at the very least UGM will assess his or point him in the right direction to find a solution.