The City of Langley’s mayor says surrounding communities need to work together to combat homelessness in the wake of a possible tent city growing in the area.
Ted Schaffer says the City of Langley, Maple Ridge and the Township of Langley have appealed to the provincial government for funding to aid the housing issue.
“We’re hoping that the provincial government will finally step up and give us an ACT team in the community. An ACT team then has the ability to work with the individuals out there. Understands the individuals that are out there. And maybe come up with some other solutions.”
The City of Langley has one shelter that can hold as many as 32 people.
Outcry from residents who have yet to see action
But residents in Langley say they have growing concerns about the homeless encampment in their city.
Former Langley City Safety Committee member Sharon Newberry says there are about 20 tents on the floodplains near Fraser Highway and 208th.
She says the camp is growing daily and is looking for action from City Council.
“I talked to two council members about this situation, asked them what was the plan for this site, and what they were doing about the homeless situation. And both of them, their comments were speak to bylaws. How is that a solution?”
Newberry says the situation is unsafe for both campers and residents, and wants the city and homeless to meet face to face to work on solutions.
She says she worries about camp conditions, and for her neighbours — some who’ve found needles on their property.
“This is a huge concern. When you have people that are leaving drug paraphenalia in people’s back yards like that. These townhouses have children.”
Newberry says the camp is growing as homeless are squeezed from neighbouring municipalities — and as rents in the area rise.