Meet Lisa and Ken, two residents of Smithers’ tenting community

Tents are seen in a field in Smithers on a sunny day.
Residents of Smithers' tent city have experienced verbal harassment. Photo by Dan Mesec.
Pamela Haasen - CICK - SmithersBC | 19-07-2021

The local tenting community of homeless individuals is sitting in Veteran's Park this month, a tree-lined piece of property owned by the town of Smithers.

This grassy area is nestled between the library and town hall and was chosen strategically. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced everyone in the province to stay indoors, the question of how to offer safe, isolate temporary housing for people living rough ("tenting") arose.

The town created a facility on the outskirts of town to provide safe living, heat, food and shelter.

After that shelter closed down due to lack of funding and less isolated measures, the town asked their homeless population to set up tents in the town centre, Bovill Square.

Now the tent city has moved them again to Veteran's Park. In both previous locations (and still including this one), the people living in these tents are experiencing verbal threats and harassment.

CICK spoke with two residents of the camp, a couple named Ken and Lisa, about their experience living in the tent camp and their personal history with shelter in Smithers, BC.

That full interview is below: