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Moncton non-profit seeks tents to help those affected by rooming house closures
A non-profit organization is seeking donations of tents for people left homeless by a spate of recent rooming house closures in Moncton.
The city recently closed several rooming houses that failed to meet living standards and now the Humanity Project says some people affected by the closures need a place to sleep at night.
“We certainly can’t allow our friends to sit in the elements day and night,” says Shelley Butler, a volunteer with the non-profit group. “We have to get them some shelter.”
Butler says some people have nothing more than a tarp over them at night and that more needs to be done to help.
“They’re human beings. They have their own will,” she says. “They are going to take a tent and they are going to make their own spot.”
The Humanity Project typically feeds about 100 people at its facility every day, but that number has increased by 30 per cent since the rooming house closures.
Catherine Marino is among those who use the service. She says she recently found a new place to stay, but before that she was living day-to-day, not knowing if she would have a place to sleep that night.
She says the conditions in some of the rooming houses she had to call home were deplorable.
“Little tiny bathroom, small rooms, no light, mice, drugs, people shooting up, going in all hours of the night,” recalls Marino.
When asked to describe her ideal situation, her answer is simple.
“Privacy, where I can be alone. Some place I can go to the bathroom safely and know it’s clean, where I know nobody is going to come to my door at 3 in the morning.”
Rooming house owner Edward Melanson admits some homes aren’t fit to live in and that those landlords are giving all building owners a bad name.
“If a person is honest enough to pay their rent, pays the rent on time, they should take care of the roomer too, that’s how I feel about it,” says Melanson.
The Humanity Project is accepting tents at its office on Lutz Street, Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on the weekends from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Jonathan MacInnis