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Vancouver’s last 2 homeless camps cost the city $6M, the cost of 2 more has yet to be calculated

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A pair of longstanding homeless encampments in the City of Vancouver have cost taxpayers more than $6 million since 2018, data obtained by Global News shows.

And with people still living in tents in two more encampments along Hastings Street and in CRAB Park, the new civic government says reducing ongoing cash flow won’t happen overnight.

City records obtained by Global News and in response to a Vancouver Police Department freedom of information request revealed more than $3.5 million in services and costs associated with the 18-month Oppenheimer Park encampment from October 2018 to June 2020.

That figure excludes fire costs, which are estimated to be at least $363,400, for enforcing the fire chief’s order in 2019.

The estimated city-wide total costs of the Strathcona Park encampment from June 2020 to Oct. 2021 are $2.2 million, according to the city.

Strathcona’s price tag includes $620,000 spent by the Vancouver Park Board to remediate five-plus hectares of the East Vancouver greenspace in the six months after the 10-month encampment ended in April 2021.

Strathcona Residents Association vice-president Katie Lewis said the human costs are much higher.

“People died…

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