Skip to content

Homeless camp near Vernon’s Polson Park taken down

It’s unknown where residents who lived at the camp are now residing
A homeless camp was taken down in Vernon at the far end of Polson Park near the railroad tracks Nov. 10, 2022. (Derrick Abram Koscielny photo)

A segment of Vernon’s homeless population is without a place to stay after a makeshift camp was dismantled in town last week.

The camp was located at the very end of Polson Park, along the railroad tracks. A photo posted to the Dawn Tucker - Community Advocate Facebook page shows heavy equipment clearing out the camp, which saw a fire break out the week previous.

It is unclear how many people lived at the encampment, or where most of them are living now that the camp is gone is gone.

Randene Wejr, executive director of Turning Points Collaborative Society, says two individuals who lived at the camp have obtained temporary housing through one of the society’s motel programs, but the rest of the camp occupants are unaccounted for.

Turning Points’ shelter is operating at capacity, and Wejr says that has been the case for close to two years.

“We do turn aways every night unfortunately,” Wejr said.

“It’s a housing issue, I think that a lot of times people think that it’s not but the issue is there is no affordable housing,” Wejr continued.

“We have a lot of people living in shelters and temporary housing that could live in permanent housing if it was affordable, but we know that the rents have just skyrocketed in the last couple years, and it’s even middle class families that are finding it very difficult to find rental options in our city.”

Wejr says Turning Points’ outreach team touches base with people living rough daily, and when the temperature drops below -10 C with wind chill factored in, a warming bus is deployed around the city where people can come and warm up.

She says Turning Points always welcomes donations of gloves, mittens, socks, blankets and other warm items to give to the homeless population.

“Any of that kind of stuff to help people keep warm that are living outside is really crucial,” she said.

READ MORE: Feds don’t know if they’re reducing homelessness, says auditor general

READ MORE: Penticton quietly opens and closes extreme weather shelter

Brendan Shykora
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Be Among The First To Know

Sign up for a free account today, and receive top headlines in your inbox Monday to Saturday.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.

Don't have an account? Click here to sign up

Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
Read more