A tent stands Sunday afternoon near the playground in Iroquois Park. According to Sidney’s acting chief administrative officer, the community has ‘only two or three people erecting tents for shelter on a regular basis.’ (Submitted)

Sidney homeless population drops to traditional levels after free transit ends

Iroquois Park continues to draw people

A top Sidney official says the number of people experiencing homelessness in the community has dropped since BC Transit stopped offering free transit during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Sidney/North Saanich RCMP noted a higher number of homeless in our communities during COVID-19, which was related to free bus services,” said Andrew Hicik, Sidney’s acting chief administrative officer. Since this service stopped, the homeless population returned to its usual 15 to 25 individuals.

Iroquois Park, where showers were open to use for several weeks, continues to draw people.

Hicik said municipal bylaw enforcement works closely with police to monitor the parks, educate local homeless who use the parks, and ensure that they comply with the bylaw requiring them to take down their tent by 9 a.m. each day.

RELATED: Saanich Peninsula not immune to homelessness

RELATED: Sidney/North Saanich RCMP to monitor to local homelessness

“During normal times, Sidney has only two or three people erecting tents for shelter on a regular basis,” Hicik said, adding that residents should call bylaw enforcement if they feel rules are being broken.

When bylaw officers encounter campers they have asked to move along, officers will inspect the sites with public works, cleaning them up if required, said Hicik.

Police also conduct weekly foot patrols with a community outreach worker from the ministry of social development and poverty reduction to offer assistance through what Hicik called the “many” available social assistance programs. Hicik also said Doctors of the World attend the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank every second Thursday to offer free medical treatment to anyone in need.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

Greater Victoria woman goes on gratitude mission to thank first responders

Jen Klein fainted while driving and crashed on Pat Bay Highway in 2019

Non-venomous ball python missing in Vic West

Snake was reported missing to Victoria police Tuesday morning

Multiple Victoria officers injured during violent incidents, including mental health calls over long weekend

Police deploy pepper spray, conducted energy weapon while arresting suspect

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

Most Read