City of Halifax begins removing tiny shelters in several locations: Defense Group – Halifax
A group that is building small isolated shelters for the homeless in Halifax says the municipal government has started removing some of the structures at sites around the city.
The Halifax Mutual Aid advocacy group posted an image on social media Friday of one of the wooden structures being lifted by heavy machinery.
The group said the shelter had been occupied and the person living there was at work when it was removed.
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In a statement, the municipality said the province has made an effort to ensure that temporary accommodation options, which may lead to permanent accommodation, are made available to all occupants of the temporary shelters starting Tuesday, when the municipality has issued notices.
To date, six people who previously occupied a temporary shelter have accepted a housing solution, according to the city.
The advocacy group began erecting the tiny shelters in January in response to a shortage of affordable rental housing in the city.
A spokesperson for the Department of Community Services said home support workers were trying to organize hotels, and possibly permanent housing, for people staying in shelters.
Carley Sampson said in an email that it is up to the 12 residents of the shelters to accept the help because it is a voluntary program.
Halifax Regional Municipality says temporary shelters must end
She said the ministry has partnered with the Out of the Cold Shelter, which is ready to provide people with a safe place to stay when they seek permanent and stable accommodation.
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During the first waves of the pandemic, the city’s homeless population increased, but Sampson said it had declined this year.
She provided figures indicating that as of Tuesday there were 352 people looking for accommodation, 138 fewer than on December 8, 2020.
Municipality on the removal of shelters
The Halifax Regional Municipality released a statement Friday regarding the removal of three temporary shelters.
HRM said the shelter at Crathorne Park in Dartmouth was removed after confirming the occupier had accepted temporary accommodation offered by the province.
The other two shelters at Victoria Park and Raymond Taavel Park in Halifax were also removed after HRM determined that both had been released and that there had been no activity at those temporary shelters in recent days.
The occupants of the temporary shelters have been asked to vacate and remove all of their belongings after the notices were published this week.
The advisory also called on those who installed the temporary shelters to remove them.
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âThe Halifax Mutual Aid Society, which has claimed responsibility for installing the temporary shelters, has publicly stated that it will not be removing any of the temporary shelters,â HRM said.
A deadline of July 13 had been given to remove the shelters.
“The July 13 deadline was not a commitment by the municipality to refrain from removing the temporary shelters before that date – rather it was a notification that the shelters are to be evacuated by occupants and removed by those who leave them. installed no later than July 13, âsaid the municipality.
Whenever an occupant leaves a temporary shelter – before or after the July 13 deadline – the municipality has said it will take action to remove the vacant shelter as soon as possible.
-With files from the Canadian Press
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