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Video: City to work with property owners to clean up downtown encampment

The people who had been living in the area have mostly moved on, outreach worker says

The City of Greater Sudbury said it has responded to a number of complaints from the public about an encampment set up in the area of Energy Court downtown.

Complaints have been filed in respect to public safety and concerns, as well as the well-being of the people who have taken up residency in the encampment. 

The property isn’t owned by the city, but a spokesperson said staff is working with property owners to find resolutions on matters of this kind.

Drone footage provided to from a concerned reader shows a few tent-like structures where people were living, as well as showing a considerable amount of refuse.

“In response to the complaints, bylaw enforcement has visited the site and spoken with the occupants to share with them the rules and provide support, resources and community outreach services,” said the city spokesperson in an email. “The individuals were responsive, open to support and have agreed to consider available options to relocate. Enforcement actions are not anticipated at this time.”

Very few people who were staying there are left, as most have moved over the past few days, a harm reduction worker who does outreach downtown told 

The worker said the encampment had been a safe space since before the pandemic, and police and bylaw turned a blind eye to it. 

Now that many more YMCA beds are open, the people living there have moved on, however, the harm reduction work believes this encampment will start up again once the weather is better.

The city said it will consider cleanup of the site once it is confident the people are no longer staying there and have the information available to them.

The city said additional support continues to be provided via community outreach services, helping to connect those wishing to obtain assistance with the appropriate services. 

Emergency shelter remains an option for people experiencing homelessness including Cedar Place, the Off The Street Shelter, Sudbury Action Centre for Youth (SACY), YMCA daytime and overnight services, and the Homelessness Network daytime drop in remains open during the day to provide a safe warm place to stay and the services of client navigators to connect people with housing and health supports.