First came John Smith’s announcement to the national media that he had instructed the APD to handle homelessness in downtown Abbotsford; then the Abbotsford Shuffle – otherwise known as Chief Bob Rich’s “disperse and displace” strategy for solving homelessness; then Mayor Banman’s Chicken Manure Incident ;then there was the Standoff in Jubilee; followed by the ‘MCC Dignity Village‘ protest camp on Gladys Avenue and the gathering of more and more of Abbotsford’s homeless to the security of living with others and out in the open in the growing size and number of camps across from the Salvation Army and along Gladys Avenue.
After a seven-month truce when the City and the APD seemed tired of the constant local, provincial, national and international attention, BC Hydro decided it was time to stir things up and, in the middle of summer, with everybody away on summer holidays, they gave notice that Abbotsford’s homeless had to vacate their property – a 15 foot strip of grass and berry bushes along Gladys Avenue – or face the legal consequences, which can and might include everything from charges for getting rid the citizen’s belongings, charges and arrest for refusing to move, wages, time and material costs to agencies, shelters, caregivers and possibly the City in order to mount a massive human and logistics operation which will cause mayhem, increased drug and alcohol use, fear, separation and distress.
A number of camp residents have said they have had enough and do not intend to move anymore.
Abbotsford Today contributors Bas Stevens and Win Wachsmann visited the camps this week to keep a historical record of the camps before the cops move in.
Some of the homeless men and women being targeted by BC Hydro
The Abbotsford Shuffle – July 2014
- ‘Where Does The APD Want Them To Go?’ Asks DWS
- APD Advises Gladys Avenue Homeless To Move Again
- Why Is BC Hydro Pushing Abbotsford’s Homeless Around?
- Where Do Ya Want ‘Em To Go? – True North Times
- UPDATE: Homeless Told To Move Again
Bas is the owner and photographer at MonoPod Photography.
You can follow Bas on Facebook where he publishes many of his photos.
To see more of Bas’ photos on Abbotsford Today click here
To see Bas’ photos of the homeless during Moving Day On Gladys Avenue click here
Bas Stevens lives in downtown Abbotsford and shares the neighbourhood just as readily with his neighbours with homes as he does with the homeless, the drug addicted and others who are down on their luck.
Bas has a home and is known to most in the power structure in Abbotsford as a man who calls things as he sees them and is very involved in his community and the political process which guides it.
You can find him most Wednesday nights over at Jubilee Park during The 5 and 2 Ministries meal for the homeless. Failing that, you catch him either at Legal Grounds Coffee House chewing the ear off of a politician or giving as good as he gets over at O’Neill’s Home Cooking over on Gosling.
You stand a good chance of finding him Saturday mornings over at the Abbotsford Farm and Country Market and Saturday evenings back over at Jubilee Park.
Wherever he is Bas usually has his eyes and ears wide open. We’re proud to have him as a contributor and urge you to get to know him if you give a damn about Abbotsford. You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who cares more than he does.