Broken Hearts: Display at controversial 222 Corfield site in Parksville vandalized

Woman says she was yelled at while showing support for incoming supportive housing tenants

A Facebook post from Karen Brooks shows the before-and-after of the hearts she attached to the fence at the 222 Corfield site. About an hour later several were torn down. - Facebook photo/Karen Brooks

A Parksville woman and advocate for the community’s less-fortunate is disheartened after she says she was accosted while displaying support for the 222 Corfield supportive housing project and its future tenants.

Karen Brooks was hanging hearts on a chain link fence that surrounds the 222 Corfield construction site on March 13, with her daughter and friend. The hearts, made of corrugated plastic, are part of a fundraiser Brooks and fellow advocate Mara Nord began to raise money for a small housewarming gift for future tenants. For every $5 donated to the fundraiser, a heart will be attached to the fence at the construction site.

Brooks received permission from BC Housing to display the hearts on the fence.

READ MORE: Legal proceedings continue in 222 Corfield case, no new court dates set

READ MORE: Modular buildings delivered to 222 Corfield in Parksville

Brooks said she attached approximately 150 hearts on March 13 to the fence and displayed them in the shape of one big heart. During the assembly of the hearts, Brooks said a woman approached them in her vehicle, pulled over to the side of the road and began yelling at them.

“[She was] asking us ‘do we support this, what are the hearts for… shame on us, shame on us,’” Brooks said. “There was a digger of some sort operating so it was hard to hear her… so I kind of just turned my back on her and carried on. It was not a nice experience.”

After finishing hanging the hearts and taking a few photos of the display, Brooks said she went and grabbed a coffee and then drove back past the 222 Corfield site. No more than an hour later several of the hearts were torn down from the fence.

“It was just sad and not an appropriate way to handle any anger at all,” Brooks said. “It was just ugly.”

Brooks plans to talk to construction workers at the site to possibly come up with an alternative location to place the hearts, somewhere “safer” she said.

“At this point I’m just really sad. No matter if you agree or disagree, it’s a fundraiser and it’s about hope and love and compassion and that’s my view on it,” Brooks said.

Nord, who is also part of the fundraising initiative, said after she heard what happened to her friend while putting up the hearts she decided to file a complaint with the Oceanside RCMP. She said she and Brooks have a meeting planned with an officer to discuss the details of what occurred.

“I’m really hurt and I’m really mad,” Nord said. “I’m so done with the hate. I’m trying to do so much to bring the hate down.”

BC Housing confirmed Brooks had permission to put the hearts along the 222 Corfield fence.

“The community-led initiative to prepare welcome items for future residents of the supportive housing in Parksville is similar to other such welcome packages prepared by neighbours of supportive housing in Vancouver, Kamloops, and other communities,” BC Housing said in an email. “Residents are often quite moved by welcoming gestures like these when they move into their new homes, and it is always encouraging to see positive examples of acceptance in communities where supportive housing is being established.”

The Oceanside RCMP did not respond to a request for information from the NEWS.

karly.blats@pqbnews.com

 

Less than an hour after Parksville resident Karen Brooks attached hearts to the fence at the 222 Corfield supportive housing site to show support for the incoming tenants, someone tore several down. - Karly Blats photo

Just Posted

Parksville youngsters design problem-solving robot

Lego robotics team gearing up for gold in Victoria competition

Parksville wants consultant to examine feasibility of rec centre

Strong demand from residents for a multi-sport facility

Developers withdraw rezoning application for huge Parksville waterfront plan

IAG to create new draft after processing public feedback

Part Three: 10 questions with a Qualicum Beach historian

Local guide shares stories of town’s foundations

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

UPDATE: Police probe third threat against a Kamloops high school in eight days

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Charges dropped against Mountie involved in shooting death of Surrey man

‘I feel like I’ve lost Hudson all over again,’ says mom

B.C. Interior caribou protection area big enough, minister says

Proposals sparked protest in Kootenays, Williams Lake region

Two B.C. women selected to compete on ABC’s The Bachelor

Mykenna Dorn and Alexis Thind will compete for bachelor Peter Weber’s heart

Vaping-related illness confirmed in Ontario believed to be first in Canada

Middlesex-London Health Unit had no further details about the case — believed to be the first confirmed in Canada

Canadian stars Virtue, Moir say in video they’re ‘stepping away’ from ice dancing

The pair thank fans for their support in an emotional message

Woman held at gunpoint during carjacking in UBC parkade

University RCMP say the vehicle is still missing, and two suspects are at large

Most Read