Tent sites starting to reappear in Moncton despite city's ban
MONCTON, N.B. -- With the bitter cold temperatures now warming up in spring, tent sites have been popping up again around the city of Moncton.
"There are three right now that are on provincial property," said city spokesperson Isabelle Leblanc."So, we've contacted the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure to have them removed and cleaned up."
The city has received some complaints regarding these sites in particular.
Richard Hyslop, founder of Needle Dogs Moncton, once called the woods his home.
He says people often prefer tents over shelters due to mental health issues or uneasiness living in groups.
"For their safety and for their well-being, they feel it is better for them to be out in an area where they feel safe," Hyslop said. "And this I know myself because, well, I've been homeless."
One site, which is now empty and gated, once served as a regulated tent city for the homeless.
While the city of Moncton did allow a tent site on Albert Street last summer with rules and regulations, that will not be the case this year.
"Last year, we had a bit of a different situation," Leblanc said. "We didn't have enough shelter space to accommodate individuals and it was a bit of a unique year. But at the end of the year we had always said that once the shelter opened, there would no longer be any tolerance for tent cities within the city."
Hyslop says it can be dangerous to resort to a tent, and he worries for those living outdoors, as he's collected thousands of discarded needles off the ground.
"Forty-five thousand last year," Hyslop said. "And we have 16 five-gallon pales -- sixteen of these -- that we have filled."
It's an ongoing issue for the city of Moncton, which is hoping to keep people off the streets and inside local shelters.