Shannon Camilleri, who lives in a tent city located in Moncton, thinks the city’s decision to allow the tents to stay on site temporarily is a step in the right direction to bring an end to homelessness.
“Even now providing us with a med tent a port-a-potty and we are getting a water station that is even going to be filled for us a couple of times a week,” said Camilleri.
She says the city’s decision to let the tents stay until a new shelter partially opens in August shows a level of compassion that few living here have ever experienced, “it just offers everybody a sense that they have a home too.”
According to Vincent Merola, community development officer for social inclusion, city officials put up a medical tent to provide settler and first aid supplies on Thursday afternoon.
“We are going to have security set up 24/7 as well as lighting so this is what we are doing here today,” said Merola.
“The security guards are providing people living here with a list of rules they must abide by in order to be allowed to stay, which means no propane or fires allowed on site and the area must be kept clean and quiet,” she added.
The city says those who don’t follow the rules will be evicted from the site.
Camilleri thinks that is fair, “rules are needed, T think it provides structure, just like a residential dwellinyou may own your own home, but you still have city bylaws you got to abide by.”
Ryder Patricquin has been living on the streets for a few years and he said not everyone living here in the tent city will want to live in the new shelter once it’s built. So, he wants the city to step up yet again and find a new location where people who choose to live in the rough can do so with proper supports like the ones now being put into place.
“I am going to fight as hard as I possibly can for a new location,” said Patriquin.
Signs detailing the rules that must be followed are also being placed near the tent as a reminder that people can stay as long as they obey.