Draper, together with Jeff Gruban of the Abbotsford Atheists, Skeptics and Humanists launched the D.R.E.A.M. Project in October – an effort to find temporary housing for some of Abbotsford’s homeless population.
Gruban and Draper have a local landowner who is prepared to allow a large tract of land near downtown Abbotsford be used for a housing project for the homeless based loosely on Portland’s ‘Dignity Village’ model.
The project has moved forward since then receiving positive support from Abbotsford Mayor Banman who said that if Gruban and Draper could bring their project to fruition he would run a bus out to the property.Members of City Council have said they intend to travel to Portland, Oregon, to visit the Dignity Village housing project.
Krop described the encampment in Jubilee Park as ‘unfit’ for human habitation against a backdrop of photos of the ‘Happy Tree’ encampment that was covered in chicken feces last summer. The camp in Jubilee Park i s actually cleaner than the rest of Jubilee Park.
When asked why there was such a controversy over the protest in Jubilee Park this week, Draper said some people in Abbotsford seemed to be doing things just to keep themselves busy, seemingly referring to the protesters and the Pivot Legal Society. Draper spoke about the fact that Abbotsford’s service providers are maxed out and said that he has meetings planned with Mayor Banman next week to discuss the D.R.E.A.M. Project and an Abbotsford version of the ‘Dignity Village’ solution.
Draper said the City of Abbotsford has an opportunity to shine and set an example for the rest of the country by embarking on his and Gruban’s proposal rather than continue it’s old methods.
Margaret Dawson then joined the conversation by phone and said she found it humourous that some people feel it is suddenly a big issue because she’s been working on this for eight years without accomplishing anything and wondered allowed how people would feel if their were homeless people in their front yard.
Krop kept trying to get either Dawson or Draper to explain why Mayor Banman and the City of Abbotsford don’t seem to want to deal with the issue other than by legal means but neither had an answer.
Watch the video of the interview here.