It’s 7:15 a.m. and a woman is sleeping on the pavement across from Victoria’s Reeson Park, a small green space on Wharf Street. She has no tent to block the morning breeze, just a weathered comforter and her dog nestled beside her for warmth. On the ledge next to her sit two bottles of red and pink nail polish, an open bottle of Sprite and a half-finished mickey of whisky. A bike tire rings the handle of her shopping cart.
Victoria police Staff Sgt. Colin Brown leans over her. “Hey ma’am, it’s the police, time to wake up.”
She stirs, pulls her arm across her eyes and nestles into her dog.
“Sorry to wake you,” Brown says. “It looks like you’ve got a warm friend there with you.”
Brown gives her some space and heads to a neighbouring tarp-covered encampment that overlooks the Johnson Street Bridge.