VICTORIA -- A new community services tent has popped up near Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park to provide outreach support and health services to homeless people sheltering in the park.

The city granted a permit to the outreach group after a previous iteration of the tent inside the park was found in violation of city bylaws and the Beacon Hill Park Trust.

The city repainted the lines at the bottom of Cook Street near Dallas Road and installed cement barriers to carve out a location for the tent to operate. The tent runs on an emergency social services grant from the city and a permit granted to its operators, the Red Cedar Café.

“Just like the Build Back Victoria patios that can serve beer to people that want to drink it, this is a tent to provide humanitarian aid to those who need it,” says Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.

The city’s goal remains to move all homeless people indoors by the end of March, at which time the tent will be removed, Helps said.

Many local residents are divided over the services tent, with the park-users group Friends of Beacon Hill Park opposed to its operation.