Tent city residents being evicted from encampment amid effort to find housing

·2 min read
Tent city residents being evicted from encampment amid effort to find housing
Tent city residents being evicted from encampment amid effort to find housing

Windsor's tent city residents were evicted from their ravine encampment Wednesday, with police on scene escorting them and their belongings out.

CBC News reported Tuesday that an estimated 17 people living in a downtown valley near the river were anticipating facing eviction. As a result, several local agencies secured emergency shelter for members of the group in a Sandwich Towne housing complex. It's not clear how many of the encampment residents took up the offer for alternative housing.

The City of Windsor told CBC News on Tuesday that the land in the ravine is privately owned.

But TerraCorp Management, a property management company for the land, told CBC News Wednesday that it was the city's order to have tent city residents leave, as it was receiving calls about it.

WATCH: Tent city in a downtown Windsor ravine has been removed

(The property owner of the land is Clayland Developments Ltd., which also owns CBC Windsor's building.)

CBC News has reached out to Auburn Development, Clayland's parent company, on the matter but did not hear back in time for publication.

In response to Terra's statement that the city ordered the eviction, the municipality's senior manager of communications Jason Moore said the removal of people is "100 per cent between landowner and police and police wouldn't go without complaint."

27 rooms secured

In anticipation of the eviction, women connected to several social agencies in Windsor — Windsor Overdose Prevention Society, YQG Cares, Helping Hearts and Hands and Homeless Advocates of Windsor — secured shelter for the residents on Tuesday at a housing complex that is managed by Property Management Solutions Windsor.

Sanjay Maru/CBC
Sanjay Maru/CBC

Tent city residents will still have to pay $500 a month for the rooms at the complex in Sandwich Towne, but the hope is that residents can start filing for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) once they have a fixed address.

Those supporting this initiative said they realize that housing won't fix everything.

So each volunteer has decided to pair up with one of the people making the transition from the tent city, to provide them with more than just housing support.

"We would be responsible, because that's the main thing of keeping someone housed is to continue to check in on them, make sure medications are being taken, make sure that the rent is getting paid," said Lisa Valente, a member of YQG Cares, one of the groups helping to secure housing.