Moncton cracks down an another tent city that sprang up behind closed shelter
Published Thursday, April 18, 2019 9:26PM ADT
The City of Moncton says it's cleaning up for spring, but that's also meant kicking out people who've been living in a tent city.
They're being evicted five months after another tent city was torn down by an excavator.
Thursday was moving day for those who have no home as the city gave them a deadline of noon to get up, and get out.
A sign was posted by the city, behind the recently closed shelter, to clear all tents and belongings.
“It just reminded me of tent city last year, but without the bulldozers,” said Ryan George.
In November, there was outrage after an excavator tore through a former tent city near Moncton's West Main Street.
“A couple of the things we take into consideration when we do see tents are gonna be public health and safety concerns, as well as high public trafficked areas,” said Vincent Merola of the City of Moncton. “This is definitely one of those areas.”
After the Out-of-the-Cold shelter closed on April 1, many pitched their tents behind the building and called it home.
“Every time we do figure it out, we find a new spot and within a week we're kicked out,” George said. “So it’s like never-ending.”
Many will not consider staying in shelters because of curfews that require them to stay inside late at night.
“Just didn't suit our lifestyle,” said Ian Johnson. “We do dumpster diving at night time, to not be a pain to the public, but that’s still our income.”
Cal Maskery is the director of Harvest House Atlantic, a homeless shelter in Moncton.
“We don't have people going out at night time because that's when trouble happens in our city,” Maskery said.
He says since the two shelter closures this month, there are 50-plus people who stay at Harvest House every night and they've had to increase their storage space.
“We have a sea can here for extra baggage that we can't put in lockers,” Maskery said.
The city says today’s move was a temporary solution and that a long-term plan is in the works.
“We've been assured by the province, and I fully believe that there's going to be another permanent shelter that will be set up by the fall,” Merola said.
It’s a ray of hope for many who are now left wondering where they will go next.
The tent city was pretty much completely cleared out by early Thursday evening.
Some of the men staying there said they said they have a couple placesin mind, but it’s whether or not they’re going to be safe and hidden enough, so as to not get evicted again.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kate Walker.