Left to right: Dayna Mastre, a former employee at the Extreme Weather Shelter, Veronica Fenton, a volunteer and supporter of the protest, and Victor Loyie, who is living on the streets, all say that the homeless in Prince Rupert are mistreated and verbally abused at the shelter. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

Weekend-long tent city protest comes to an end, here’s what happened

Homeless people and supporters camped at Prince Rupert’s city hall protesting Extreme Weather Shelter

The homeless people who were allegedly kicked out of the Extreme Weather Shelter for extend periods of time without cause are now allowed back in.

The tents outside city hall were packed up Monday evening as the protest against the treatment of the homeless at the shelter came to an end with a positive resolution.

The tent city was set up Friday night at 8:30 p.m. by Dayna Mastre — who worked at the homeless shelter for six months before being let go — and Veronica Fenton — a supporter of homeless people — after alleging that Prince Rupert’s homeless people were being mistreated by the shelter’s employees.

Steve Jaeger, one of the homeless people at the tent city, alleged that last week he was kicked out of the shelter over heating up a bun thirty minutes after the kitchen was closed. Jaeger said he was subsequently barred from the building for four days resulting in him living in an alleyway.

“I then got beat up in that alley,” he said with two black and blue eyes.

Jaeger’s complaint was one of many that Fenton and Mastre were trying to bring attention to.

READ MORE: Tents pitched outside City Hall to protest the treatment of Prince Rupert’s homeless

Christine White, executive director of the Transition Society, is currently out of town but stated over text message that due to the confidentiality policies of the shelter they cannot confirm or publicly address any specific issues.

“In conjunction with the City of Prince Rupert and the RCMP, we are taking very seriously all matters that have been brought to our attention. [We] wish to assure the community that we are working diligently and expeditiously to resolve them,” White stated.

Mayor Lee Brain is currently out of town and could not be reached for comment.

On Sunday evening RCMP inspector Blake Ward held a mediation with the Transition Society and the two leaders of the protest to come to an understanding.

“I helped mediate the discussions. I think one of the issues was communication. They sorted out some of their challenges and issues and hopefully will continue to take steps forward to continue improving things,” Ward said.

The RCMP will not continue to intervene in the dispute involving the rules of the Transition Society, aside from any criminal related concerns.

Fenton and Mastre both said that one of the resolutions presented was an agreement that all homeless people who were kicked out — with the exception of those who were physically violent — will be allowed back in.

Fenton said that workers at the shelter also abide by their own arbitrary rules, which was one of the issues discussed.

“I really believe something is going to happen now,” Mastre said.

Jaeger also said there are other issues beyond abuse that should be dealt with at the shelter such as broken washers and no adequate space to care for personal hygiene.

“It’s not their fault, it’s not my fault. I am just happy to be indoors because it’s scary to be homeless. But there are issues and huge barriers that need to be addressed,” Jaeger said.

READ MORE: LETTER: No empathy for Prince Rupert’s homeless

Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
Jenna Cocullo 
Send Jenna email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tax penalties of 10 per cent to be applied by City if not paid on time

Prince Rupert Property taxes for certain non-residential properties are due by Sept. 30

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

Northwest firefighters headed to Oregon to battle wildfires

Over 200 B.C. firefighting personnel will assist in the U.S.

Search concludes over human remains found

Prince Rupert RCMP said search in Moresby Park area has concluded

Nisga’a Nation lifts local state of emergency

No new COVID-19 cases detected since state of emergency was enacted

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Most Read