So we happened to notice today an older video from back in July (video link here) being passed around that shows large equipment carrying out trash from around the neighboring property lines around the Share House. Comments seemed to be suggesting there are "homeless evictions" happening right now. Not exactly true.
When we saw the video and comments we realized there are probably some other posts on various groups that are trying to "stir up the drama" by misrepresenting some of the conversations that were being had with the guys down in the guard rail area this week by adding a little video twist to try to generate fear, or donations, or both. Either way, I would like to let you know this particular video is from clean-up work done back in early July and is probably being used as some sideshow drama for a real situation that is in the process of being addressed between The Share House, the neighboring business property owners and the people camping & staying along the guard rails and fence lines.
Here is the real story on what is happening...
Outsiders Inn was asked to help communicate some things that are going to be happening around the neighboring property lines around the Share House to the folks that have been using that guard rail area space. Unfortunately, there has been some things happening along the guard rails and fences of this private business property that needs to be seriously addressed. The property owners have worked hard to get along and understand there are people using the space. However, there has been 2 main unwanted behaviors picking up lately that leads to unsafe and unsanitary conditions that they are now INSISTING change.
- Lots of trash being left. Some of it is camp stuff, some of it is donation bags and items left behind; all of it is a problem that gets complained about and the property owner then has the responsibility to deal with it somehow.
- The poop being thrown. Yes. That is right. The poop. -- Recently there are bags of feces frequently being thrown over the fence into the business area. The business owners and employees are sick and tired of going to work and having to deal with someone else's crap, literally.
The business needs to have this situation fixed immediately. They have spoken with the Share House and have made serious requests that they help make certain things happen in a timely manner. The Share House has asked me to help facilitate in the communication of these things that will be happening soon to help remedy the unsanitary situation and keep things calm between neighbors. Outsiders Inn is involved with the lawsuits against the City and County concerning giving proper notice to homeless people before their belongings are taken, so by involving us they are making the statement that no one has any plan to go down and just start throwing things away improperly. Let me repeat: They will NOT go down there and start throwing things away without giving proper notice. However, it is inevitable with the situation at hand that proper eviction notices will be coming soon and they have asked me to help communicate this with everyone down at the guard rail so hopefully they will understand when this happens.
When the eviction notices do arrive: Everyone will have 48 hours to take what they want of their belongings and move it to a different location not in the area. The business has asked that the Share House then get the people completely clear of the guard rail area and get a dumpster/clean up crew so an official clean up of the space can be done. Share is complying with this request so conditions can improve for everyone involved.
The guard rail HAS to be cleaned. This will happen. The Share House has to do something or it will escalate. Share will unfortunately be footing the large bill for an official clean up of the guard rail area. But no matter how unfortunate the situation is for everyone involved, no one staying in that area should be surprised or be without a chance to get and move their belongings out of the area. There will be official notices posted and I will be there to help communicate and explain these notices over the course of those 48 hours. And after my initial conversations this week, I was able to find out that a number of guard rail people are happy with this news actually because they know conditions have gotten out of control too.
So after we get through this and the area is cleaned up, Outsiders Inn will then distribute some camping rules on how things maybe can move forward in a more respectiful and sanitary way. We are seeing if we can get the portable toilets maybe emptied a little more frequently. We are talking with the folks using the toilets to try to respect them a little better so people can use them without worry. We are reminding people that the main Share House dumpster is available to be used for proper trash. If it happens to be locked for whatever reason/time frame it is, we are encouraging to go ahead and put well-tied bags next to it and it will be okay and included in the trash when the time comes. These things and more will be communicated as this situation progresses.
As always, Outsiders Inn is glad to be able to help communicate real information, de-escalate possible problems and advocate for Vancouver's homeless and other outsiders.