Homeless men arrive in B.C.

The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER—Two homeless Saskatchewan men who say they were given one-way bus tickets to British Columbia have arrived in Vancouver.
Charles Neil-Curly, 23, has been homeless for about five months and living in a North Battleford, Sask. shelter.
But he says the province cut his funding—forcing him to find somewhere else to go.
Neil-Curly says he asked for a ticket to B.C. and was on a bus later that night with his friend from the shelter, 21-year-old Jeremy Roy.
The pair reportedly received the tickets from a worker with the provincial government and Saskatchewan Social Services minister Donna Harpauer says the case is being reviewed by her department.
Workers from a local shelter were on hand to welcome Neil-Curly and Roy when they arrived at the Vancouver bus station yesterday, offering them a place to stay.
Union Gospel Mission spokesman Jeremy Hunka said he was surprised and concerned to hear two young homeless men had been put on a bus to another province without any plans regarding what they would do when they arrive.
“We knew we needed to step up because coming to Vancouver without a plan, without a place to stay, and joining the other people who are struggling on the streets, is a bad situation for Vancouver, and especially for them,” he noted.
“It’s dangerous.”
Vancouver city councillor Kerry Jang said the case is egregious and disgusting, noting that Roy told him he has epilepsy.
“They put somebody who clearly has medical issues on a bus and said good luck to you,” Jang said.
“That’s inhumane.”
Neil-Curly chose B.C. because his best friend lives on Vancouver Island, and he hopes he’ll be able to start a new life—complete with a job and a home.
Workers at Union Gospel Mission, meanwhile, will connect the pair with caseworkers who will find out what they need and come up with a plan, Hunka said.
The keys to getting people into permanent housing are making sure their needs are met and that they have community support, he noted.
“Putting somebody on a bus and sending them out of the province is not the way to end homeless in anybody’s life,” Hunka stressed.