The people on Leon Avenue go about their day fixing bikes, tidying up their living space and pushing a shopping cart from one area to the next. (David Venn - Kelowna Capital News)

VIDEO: RCMP evict homeless people camping on Leon Avenue

People experiencing homelessness were given ‘10 minutes’ to vacate the camp on Leon Avenue

Dozens of people experiencing homelessness were forced to pack up their stuff on Leon Avenue last weekend.

The street, also home to several Kelowna nightclubs, was descended upon by several RCMP cruisers last Friday night (Oct. 25) around 7:45 p.m. Upon arrival, police allegedly told them they had 10 minutes to pack up and leave.

Video was taken by a man at the scene and subsequently posted on Facebook.

“There is absolutely no room in any shelters,” said the man filming the incident.

“The city has already said that they are going to allow this until a new mat program is actually open.”

Mat programs, also known as warming centres, are emergency shelters that offer cots or mats to people experiencing homelessness. They are part of the Journey Home Society’s immediate plans.

To date, the society has not been able to successfully secure any sites for a warming centre and are asking the community for suggestions or available spaces that could provide this service.

“The warming centres provide a clean and safe place for people to take refuge from the cold, especially for people who prefer not to stay in a shelter,” said Debbie Hubbard, executive board member of the Central Okanagan Journey Home Society.

RCMP have not responded to a request for comment.

READ MORE: Extreme weather shelters coming to Kelowna

READ MORE: Kelowna homeless claim they are assaulted ‘regularly’ by police, public


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

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