A 25-year-old representative from the Anita Place Homeless Camp in Maple Ridge talks about how the amount of homeless youth are underestimated in official counts. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Anita Place Tent City to hold press conference

Homeless will speak Friday at 1:30 p.m. on 223rd St. after Maple Ridge intends to seek injunction

Residents of Anita Place Tent City will be holding a press conference at 1:30 p.m. on Friday Oct. 27 in response to the city of Maple Ridge announcing its intentions to seek a court injunction to remove the homeless from the site.

In a press release, organziers for the homeless camps said they will gather out front of the camp at 223rd St. on St. Anne Ave. in Maple Ridge to refute the reasons Maple Ridge Council listed as their reasons for seeking an injunction.

“In June of this year, the city adjourned the injunction process against the camp to allow B.C. Housing and health careresources the opportunity to develop and implement a plan that would result in a voluntary decampment,” Mayor NicoleRead said.

“Here we are in October, and there has been no significant movement towards a decampment. In fact, the safety of people in the camp, the fire department, police, other first responders and the surrounding neighbourhood has deteriorated. We have no choice but to seek an injunction for the camp to come to an end.”

The city is concerned about growing health, safety and fire risks in the encampment. Read said.

Ivan Drury, a representative for the homeless camp, said the city’s decision is irresponsible and punitive and won’t solve the issue.

“The people at the camp aren’t going to leave Maple Ridge,” said Drury. “It’s their home community. The city can seek it’s injunction using a police force but it’s not going to remove the problem. People will just move to the doorways and parks of the community.”