NS organization offers alternative to police-led Meagher Park eviction – Halifax

More than a dozen organizations in Nova Scotia working with the homeless and other marginalized groups have taken action against the city before deploying police to evict people staying in parks in Halifax. We have signed a letter asking the government to consider other options.

The letter contained a number of recommendations for “alternatives to facilitate the peaceful relocation of individuals sheltering in Meagher Park.”

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Meagher Park, also known as People’s Park, is located on Chebukt Road. Unhoused people have remained there since the August 2021 police-led eviction of the encampment.

Earlier in the week, the city officially requested that police enter the scene and enforce the eviction order.

This summer, city councilors designated four city parks where unhoused people could pitch tents, but also said those staying in Margar Park had to leave by July 17. said.

The deadline has passed, but the municipality said about four to five residents remained with the protesters.

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Halifax police called to enforce eviction order at Meagher Park

A letter from the organization issued late Friday night said police should not be involved in the movement of people staying at Marger Park.

“We urge the City to evict the police and request that service providers and the support community surrounding Marger Park Encampment implement this alternative for seven days,” the letter read. ing.

“We strongly believe that those currently displaced in parks need to be meaningfully involved in choosing new locations and given viable relocation options that center health, safety concerns and dignity. “

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They said their recommendations would be informed by representatives of people staying at the park, the Homeless Services Department, and the Halifax Mutual Aid and PADS Community Advocacy Network.

People who are not detained should be included in the decision: letter

The letter was signed by a total of 14 organizations: PADS Community Advocacy Network, Mutual Aid Halifax, Adsum for Women and Children, Coverdale Courtwork Society, North End Community Health Centre, Welcome Housing and Support Services, Out of the Cold Community Association, Stepping Stone Association, Elizabeth Frye Society, United Way Halifax, YWCA Halifax, Avalon Sexual Assault Center, Brunswick Street Mission, POSSE

The letter states that service providers should provide flexible units or spaces to house individuals sheltering in parks. .

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In June, city council members unanimously approved four designated green spaces where people could pitch their tents. There are some vacancies on those sites.

A letter from the organization says those who are not detained should be included in these decisions.

“If we are unable to provide what people really want: safe and affordable housing, we will consult with the affected individuals and their support communities to determine the location of the new location. The city will also need to work with them in a “cooperative manner” to determine acceptable relocation sites, he added.

Whatever location is decided should have running water, garbage collection, toilets and storage for personal belongings, according to the letter.

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Structure for securing food for non-inmates, deemed a safety risk by HRM, dismantled overnight

Local authorities have complained about rodent problems at Meagher Park, but there is nowhere for residents to safely store food. In February, the municipality sent workers to tear down a wooden structure used for food storage at the park, citing it as a “safety risk.”

The letter states that places where unhoused people stay should have proper food storage, preparation and disposal of food waste to “increase access to food and minimize the presence of rodents.” He said it should be possible.

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Similarly, the existing Tyvek shelter will need to be moved to a new site with residents’ consent until it can be replaced with a safer, winter-ready shelter for long-term planning.

New sites should also provide resources for creating a council or advisory body for those staying there.

The organization also calls for more resources and services for youth and those in need of culturally appropriate services, and the city is working with service providers to ensure that parks are relocated and permanently closed at the same time. I asked.

“People who are not housed should have a valid opinion of where the new encampment is based,” said Out Cold Communities Association, one of the organizations that signed the letter. said in a tweet.

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“It is unconscionable to discuss whether directly affected people can and should choose where to live in tents.”

As of Aug. 2, 643 people are currently experiencing homelessness in the Halifax area, according to the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Association’s latest figures.

In June, staff reported that there were only about 200 shelter beds in the Halifax area, more than 400 short of what was needed.

In a statement, HRM spokesman Ryan Nearing said the municipality “is aware of yesterday’s letters from various service providers helping people experiencing homelessness.

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“Municipal staff will review the request and respond within the next few days. As always, Halifax Regional Police will respond to public safety matters,” he said.

“At this time, we have no further comment on this matter.”

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NS organization offers alternative to police-led Meagher Park eviction – Halifax

Source link NS organization offers alternative to police-led Meagher Park eviction – Halifax

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