The city will begin relocating homeless persons living in tent encampments tomorrow. So far they have found accommodation on a voluntary basis for 70 individuals.This follows a week where task force members continued their work with encampment residents to provide them with information about the options available to them. People sleeping rough in encampments were also made aware of the recent lifting of an injunction which had previously prevented the City from enforcing its bylaws.
The Task Force includes the City’s Housing Services, Municipal Licensing Enforcement, Waste Management, Mental Health, Street Outreach Services, a Social Navigator and assistance from the Hamilton Police Services.
Of the 70 people who voluntarily left encampments, 20 individuals were placed in hotels, 26 were placed in shelters and 15 individuals found more permanent housing. Moving forward, the City will add enforcement measures to its education efforts to encourage people staying at encampments to seek alternative housing that is available.
The City’s Encampment Task Force will continue to work with encampment residents to find more humane housing options. Moving forward, the City will begin enforcement at Ferguson Avenue’s encampment area, followed by the encampments near First Ontario Centre (FOC) and Whitehern Historic House to offer people staying there more humane housing options.
Given the size of the encampment on Ferguson Avenue, the City will be closing Ferguson between Barton and Canon starting midnight Wednesday until approximately noon Friday to allow Task Force members to conduct their work.
On Friday, the task force will be focusing its efforts on encampments near City Hall, Whitehern, and the First Ontario Centre, which still have a limited number of tents.
The lifting of the injunction and the resuming of bylaw enforcement follows an agreement with community advocates. The agreement addressed the enforcement protocol for City bylaws. It included a joint commitment to continue to engage with provincial health authorities to encourage further investments to help people with complex needs, including addictions and mental health, who need more support than municipally-funded shelters can offer.
With the emergence of COVID-19, the City of Hamilton has invested over $1 million for the operation of additional emergency shelter spaces in 2020. This is in addition to the $7.6 million budgeted in the 2020 municipal operating budget. The City has also committed to continue funding additional shelter spaces in 2021.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the City has seen an increase in the number of people sleeping rough in public spaces, including outside the First Ontario Centre, along Ferguson Avenue, and several City parks.
With the emergence of larger encampments during COVID-19, the City has incurred additional costs and staff time required for increased security, waste collection and outreach efforts. The City also recorded increased calls for service for paramedics and police.
The article is only speaking from one side, the city not those in the encampments, so personally I do not trust anything the city says.
More humane housing eh! Well a bed in a shelter is not more humane when you consider that individuals are left with no supportive services, they just kick them out first thing in the morning. With no phones or screens, individuals cannot even book a space. One also has to understand the inane rules and regulations imposed by the agencies that cause bad behavior by individuals who think they have a bed then told no they dont.
Shelters are not safe spaces, period! That is why people are in the camps!
Gotta hear the other side before making judgement. I mean if the city had all that housing and supportive services in place, how did they get the injunction in the first place???
I live right across the street from the encampment. And I can tell you that everyone in this neighborhood of approximately 150 households are more than happy that this nightmare is coming to an end. An end to the open air drug use & sales. An end to urination & defication right on the sidewalk. An end to the violence, fighting & intimidation that this community has endured for nearly 7 months.
good news for these unfortunates…….the lobby and waiting areas at “Ross and McBride” will now house and bathe any vagrant in need. Tell ’em Wade sent you.
No room at the inn?
Head on over to Mo and Terry’s place…..big back yard, hot tub, and Mo will even darn your socks for you
It is well past time for these “advocates” to place some skin in the game., if this is ‘my’ problem……then let me fix it.
Hamilton is a hotbed for subversive misfits.
I’m going to assume that Mr Foster lives in the apartment building which the landlord could possibly be Wesley Housing, one third of the Wesley triad. An employee of the Wesley Centre stated publically last year at public meeting, 95% of funding goes to wages, benefits and salaries and given this same employee stated at council meeting they had received almost 7 million dollars from three levels of government. You figure it out 5 % of 7 million that actually trickles down to those who need the most help.
Mr Graham, how would you fix this situation? What skin are you willing to put forward?