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Remnants of Princeton’s riverside tent city destroyed

The area was neat and organized when occupants left it for winter, says bylaw officer
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Last summer there was a collection of tents set up surrounding a fire pit, with places assigned for food and other storage, and even decorated with plants and flowers. (Andrea DeMeer photo)

The tiny tent-city that sprung up along the Similkameen River last summer for people without homes has been destroyed, with nothing but rubble remaining.

The municipality now faces the task of arranging for clean-up, while leadership wonders what exactly happened.

According to bylaw enforcement officer Ed Atkinson, the area was organized and respectable when its occupants moved as the weather turned colder in 2022.

“I looked at it in the fall and I didn’t see that mess, so it’s happened since then.”

He said tents were zipped up and items tidied neatly away.

“Somebody’s gone in and made the mess, pulling things apart, and throwing them around.”

Tents, tarps, clothing and blankets, boxes of food, crockery and personal items now litter the ground.

The tent-city area is not visible from the road, as a dike separates it from Waterfront Avenue.

Last summer, it was a collection of tents set up surrounding a fire pit, with places assigned for food and other storage, and even decorated with plants and flowers.

Mayor Spencer Coyne said he’s disappointed.

“It is a shame that we have people who are in this situation in our community,” he told The Spotlight.

“We have been advocating to get supports to bring people out of homelessness and it has been an uphill battle.

“There is stigma associated with being in a situation like this and that does not help when we are trying to solve these issues.”

Coyne said the municipality will address the situation.

Related: Princeton’s homeless suffer harassment

Related: Letter: Homeless camp neighbour has compassionate change of heart

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com


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Andrea DeMeer

About the Author: Andrea DeMeer

Andrea is the publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight.
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