A focus on fire safety in tent cities obscures the real reason why people are living in those kinds of pop up communities.

First Call is one of 109 organizations, or individuals, who have signed an open letter, that was started by those in the nursing faculty at the University of Victoria.

First Call’s Adrienne Montani said trying to force tent cities into submission with fire orders does nothing to address the real problems, like inadequate housing.

She said in some ways it focuses on fire, that it may happen, or the tent city occupants may start one and there’s a bit of an implication there.

Montani said that’s a distraction from the fact that these people have to live outdoors and their health needs are not being looked after.

The letter is asking officials to consider five principals that revolve around health, housing and helping people develop skills.

You can access the open letter here:  https://mailchi.mp/600e0d6bfc79/publichealth_tentcities