People who left Moncton's tent city now setting up in other sites
Published Tuesday, October 1, 2019 10:35PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 1, 2019 10:54PM ADT
MONCTON -- Since the closure of Moncton's tent city, some people have found other indoor arrangements.
However many are still camping in other areas of the city.
"They've transitioned to other tenting areas within the city, which is the unfortunate part," said Trevor Goodwin, the YMCA outreach services senior director. "They're choosing to not access shelter beds, or they're not ready or able to."
Some are set up behind vacant buildings.
The city has received phone calls from residents unsure of what to do if they find someone on their property.
"So, the first step is to politely ask them to move along, and if they do not do that, then certainly you can call the RCMP non-emergency line," said Isabelle LeBlanc, a spokeswoman for the City of Moncton.
City Coun. Paul Pellerin says he spoke with a group of six-to-eight former tent city residents who had their belongings in Aberdeen Park.
That same park had several shade trees and berms removed by the city to create a "clear line of sight" in hopes of alleviating some illegal activity.
"If we're not tackling the issue, you can do any environmental design you want, people are still going to come to the park," Pellerin said.
The idea was for residents to transition from tent city into a new shelter, also on Albert Street. That was supposed to open Aug. 1.
"To know that that isn't there and there's no communication from the House of Nazareth to them in terms of when that shelters going to come, leaves them in a tough spot and really wondering what they're going to do," Goodwin said.
The city says the fire marshal's office has received shelter plans in Fredericton and Moncton.
"My understanding is that our building inspection department has not yet received the request for the building permit," LeBlanc said.
Pellerin says shelters are not the long-term solution and affordable housing plans need to turn to action.
"First of all, we need to hear from the province and give us a date on when, and the capacity that they're going to build," Pellerin said. "How many units? That's gotta be a must. The temporary solution from that, to that, is shelters."
Many are now left with more questions than answers and unsure of their next move.