Council backs plan to allow for some encampments in Hamilton

This post, from August 16, has details on Council’s backing of some encampments in Hamilton.

John-Paul Danko Ward 8 Hamilton City Councillor

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

Councillors voted 10-6 in support on a set of rules for people who are experiencing homelessness, after more than seven hours of discussion at a general issues committee meeting Monday.

For more details, please continue reading below…

The City is moving forward with an encampment protocol that will see unhoused individuals live at least 10 metres away from private property, 50 metres away from park amenities, and 100 metres away from schools, daycares and playgrounds.

The encampments will be limited to groupings of five tents and those groupings must be 50m apart from each other.

Outreach workers will be the first point of contact before bylaw or police are involved.

The protocol is separate from the proposed tiny home pilot and any past discussion around sanctioned encampments. The plan will go to a formal vote at Friday’s council meeting and would come into effect August 21st.

The protocol, which was supported by Councillor Danko, is supposed to be a temporary measure, as the City seeks more help from the province and federal government. 

The motion also offers an alternative to dismantling encampments, which in recent years forced unhoused people to move to around the city, sometimes ending up in the same location they were first told to leave from. 

The new protocol followed community consultations throughout June where thousands of residents brought up questions, concerns and offered feedback both online and in-person. 

This new protocol will aim to address some concerns raised by some members of the public by giving encampment residents access to two 24/7 washrooms and two showers, 12 hours daily.

In addition, garbage clean-up at sites is planned as well as peer supports and Indigenous services to be offered. Key stakeholders would also form a liaison committee.

The cost of the new encampment protocol — which includes implementation and staffing — would be $2.9 million in 2024 and $255,000 in capital costs, the city says.

As for complaints, the city plan says bylaw officers will have to respond within 11 days and police may get involved depending on the situation.

Questions or concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact our office here.

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Councillor John-Paul Danko