January 21, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hamilton Community Legal Clinic’s Response to Councillor Nann’s Motion Re: Encampment Response
Hamilton Community Legal Clinic welcomes Council’s vote to change the way it responds to encampments. Specifically, the City has agreed to consult with community stakeholders, including front line services working with the unhoused population, those with lived experience, and the health sector, to create a “human rights based, health focused approach to housing”. A copy of the motion can be reviewed by clicking here.
We have always encouraged this type of collaboration and person-centred approach.
Tackling the issue of homelessness and some of its root causes can seem like a monumental undertaking. There are, however, immediate alternatives to encampments evictions which do not require significant funding changes: revising and unifying shelter service restriction policies so that fewer people are unnecessarily banned from shelters, temporarily suspending by-law enforcement, and allocating existing emergency funds to affordable housing projects like tiny cabins (which have already been established in various municipalities).
We are pleased to see the City signal a willingness to engage in an open dialogue on an incredibly important matter. We encourage the City of Hamilton to prioritize these discussions and resolution in light of the urgency of the ongoing pandemic, shelter and housing crisis.
We are hopeful that the newly formed committee results in solutions that address and eradicate the harms associated with homelessness and evicting encampment residents.
For a copy of this letter, please click here: Statement