Most Of Tent City Has Been Cleared From Victoria Park

UPDATE ON SHELTER SERVICE OUTREACH: August 28th

Social Services outreach workers will be located at the Salvation Army, 350 Aylmer St. to help people who are looking for shelter and housing. Workers will be on-site from 8:45 a.m. till 11 a.m., this week to coincide with the breakfast program offered at that location.

The daily outreach services have moved to the Salvation Army location from Victoria Park where they had been located for the last two weeks.

Outreach workers can connect people with support services, including shelter beds and help with housing, depending on their individual needs.

Social Services can be contacted at 705-748-8830 or in-person at 178 Charlotte St.

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ORIGINAL POST

Deputy Mayor Andrew Beamer has issued the following statement on the encampment in Victoria Park (Mayor Therrien was unavailable, as she is on vacation this week)…

“People are starting to comply with the closure of Victoria Park,” says Beamer in a release from the City of Peterborough. “It’s an ongoing process with people leaving the park with the number of tents down to about 15 by the middle of the day. The park is closed to everyone effective 9 a.m. on Tuesday, August 27th for a period of 30 days. Anyone who is in the park now is trespassing.

For anyone who needs assistance, we encourage them to speak with Social Services workers about available support services. If they’re homeless, there are shelter beds available with an average of about 30 beds available each night over the last month. Social Services will talk to each person about their specific needs to connect them with services. Each month, the City and its community partner agencies help an average of 15 people a month move into housing from homelessness.”

Photo by Neil Morton, PTBOCanada.com

Photo by Neil Morton, PTBOCanada.com

Many of the people who lived in the encampment have formed mini-Tent Cities at various locations and church properties in the city, including Emmanuel United Church's property—located a block from Victoria Park.

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A Tent City Is Emerging In Peterborough At Victoria Park

With the closure of the Warming Room until they can find a new home, a Tent City is emerging at Victoria Park where the homeless are living.

There have a been a couple tents there since May, but now about 20 tents have popped up in recent days since the Warming Room—where the homeless could stay overnight—announced its lease has expired with Murray Street Baptist Church, which could no longer house them until the Fall as they are going through renovations.

Photo by Neil Morton, PTBOCanada

Photo by Neil Morton, PTBOCanada

“City staff and community partners have been working hard to help those affected by the closure of the Warming Room,” says Mayor Therrien in a media release. “As of July 1st, there are 20 beds available to those are living rough.”

Photo by Neil Morton, PTBOCanada

Photo by Neil Morton, PTBOCanada

Mayor Therrien adds that outreach works are actively reaching out to make connections between people staying in tents and available housing or shelter accommodations—a process that takes time.

Photo by Neil Morton, PTBOCanada

Photo by Neil Morton, PTBOCanada

In the meantime, with the city in a heat wave right now, there is growing concern for the health and welfare for these people living in tents.

As such, a free water station has been set up for the remainder of the week in Mayor Therrien’s parking space at City Hall parking lot near Victoria Park. There is also a portable washroom located in the park, and a supply tent where people can drop off donations.

The water station set up at City Hall parking lot (photo courtesy City of Peterborough)

The water station set up at City Hall parking lot (photo courtesy City of Peterborough)

As well, many local organizations such as PARN are stepping up to help out.

As are concerned individuals in the community, such as Laurie English, who dropped off a bunch of supplies such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, body wash, disposable razors, juice boxes and individually wrapped crackers to the supply tent at Victoria Park on Thursday (July 4th).

”My donation doesn’t scratch the surface of the need, but when you are blessed as we are it’s the right thing to do,” English tells PTBOCanada. Indeed, every donation and kind gesture adds up to making a great impact.”

Photo courtesy Niki Allday

Photo courtesy Niki Allday

If you are donating to the supply tent, people also require baby wipes, bug spray, snacks, toiletries, garbage and recyling bags, tampons/pads, sleeping bags/tarps, T-shirts (men’s L/XL) and five people need tents.

Anyone who needs emergency shelter is asked to visit Peterborough Social Services at 178 Charlotte St. or contact Social Services by phone at 705.748.8830 between 8:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, or at 705.927.0096 overnight, on weekends and on holidays.

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