WATCH: Most of Hamilton’s homeless encampments were cleared, where did the people go?


Published December 3, 2020 at 11:51 am

After a legal battle and subsequent agreement was reached between the City of Hamilton and advocacy groups in late September, the City began removing encampments that had developed around Hamilton the following month.

The agreement between the City of Hamilton and advocacy groups, Keeping Six and HAMSMaRT, saw a new individualized and discretionary approach to enforcing the no camping bylaw. It also sets parameters around where and how big encampments can be located.

“Both parties agree that encampments are a symptom of a housing crisis that is national in scope and that tents are not a solution to the housing challenges many experience,” the City said in a news release. “The agreement calls for the advocates and the City to continue engaging with provincial health authorities to help people who need more support than municipal shelter and outreach efforts can offer.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of a number of public spaces and social services, tent communities had been popping up in parts of the city.

The encampments have mostly been removed. So, what happened to all of the people?

Grace Mater, Director of Children’s Services and Neighbourhood Development for the City of Hamilton joined Anthony Urciuoli to provide a detailed look into how the City and Hamilton Police Service’s worked with advocacy groups to help relocate the people who were living in the now-dismantled encampments.

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