Homeless Encampments – Urgent Call to Action

Hamilton Community Legal Clinic


Hamilton city staff have informed HAMSMaRT and Keeping Six of their plan to dismantle the encampments at the First Ontario Centre and the Ferguson Street encampment on July 31, 2020.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, both organizations partnered with the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic and with Wade Poziomka, a human rights lawyer at Ross & McBride and called on the city to stop dismantling encampments unless it was able to provide encampment residents with access to safe indoor spaces and interim to permanent housing with the appropriate supports.

This order to dismantle the encampments comes as a surprise to a coalition of social service and outreach workers, physicians, lawyers and community allies.

We need your help!

Please call or write to your councillor today asking that:

  1. The City not dismantle homeless encampments
  2. The City provide interim and permanent housing for encampment residents with necessary supports
  3. The City prioritize individuals experiencing homelessness for urgent housing placement
  4. The City engage encampment residents in assessing their needs prior to dismantling
  5. The City remove barriers in shelters and hotels in order to accommodate the individual needs of encampment residents
  6. The City allow for sanctioned encampment sites and/or designate specific parks/public lands where individuals are allowed to set up tents/temporary structures
  7. The City allow for a streamlined, low-barrier, accessible process of issuing permits allowing for tents and temporary structures

Dismantling homeless encampments will cause harm to encampment residents and this harm is heightened by the current pandemic. We need you to call on your local city councillor to take a holistic and reasoned approach to encampments. Please contact your councillor today!

In your emails, be sure to cc the following organizations:

The Hamilton Community Legal Clinic – hclc.cjch@gmail.com

Keeping Six – info@keepingsix.org

HAMSMaRT – info@hamsmart.ca