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Nearly half of Halifax encampment residents have moved to indoor shelters: city

Shelters are pictured at the Grand Parade encampment in Halifax. (Jonathan MacInnis/CTV News Atlantic) Shelters are pictured at the Grand Parade encampment in Halifax. (Jonathan MacInnis/CTV News Atlantic)

Three days ahead of a deadline to vacate five Halifax encampments, almost half of the people living in those areas have moved to indoor shelters, according to the city.

In a news release, the Halifax Regional Municipality says 25 of the roughly 55 people sheltering outdoors at Grand Parade, Victoria Park, Saunders Park, and the Geary Street green space have “accepted indoor sheltering options at a number of facilities.”

Two weeks ago, the municipality announced it was de-designating five outdoor shelters, giving people until Feb. 26 to vacate those spots. The municipality says the Geary Street green space is already completely empty.

“Based on the progress made to date, the municipality expects that all those sheltering in the de-designated locations will comply with the notice to vacate,” the release states. “However, if the date passes and not all individuals have vacated, there will be a measured approach where each situation will be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

“The municipality is aware that not all people who are currently sleeping rough in these locations will be able to go to a shelter for a variety of reasons. We are working with the province to help those still sheltering outdoors to find options.”

The release notes police may be on hand on Monday to “ensure public order is maintained.” It also says protests have been planned for Saturday and Monday.

“While it is recognized that people have a right to protest, the municipality wants to make it clear that any violence and/or destruction of property will not be tolerated and any unsafe situations will be dealt with as required, which would include support from police services,” the release reads. 

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