Moncton bylaw enforcement manager Charles LeBlanc said a “few dozen people” had been living in a large homeless encampment in a wooded area near Wheeler Boulevard.
For the past three weeks, crews have been dismantling the encampment along with YMCA ReConnect and the Codiac RCMP.
“What you see is a direct result of public complaints,” LeBlanc said.
The encampment is located on private land, and LeBlanc said homeowners had complained about debris on the site.
He said he estimates some of the residents had been living there for “a few years,” adding those living in the encampment were warned it would be dismantled in August.
“Since late summer, bylaw enforcement have been here every day, YMCA ReConnect have been advising our homeless population that we were coming soon and they need to leave,” he said.
On Monday, crews were disposing of personal effects by the shovel full. LeBlanc said those items would be brought to the dump.
According to the most recent available data from the Human Development Council, more than 300 people were experiencing homelessness in Moncton in October.
A new “out of the cold hub”, where homeless people can drop in to warm up for the day, will be opening in Moncton on Dec. 1.
It will be located in the former Lion’s Community Centre, and will be run by the John Howard Society of Southeastern New Brunswick.
On Monday, the society’s executive director, Dan Brooks, said that winter can be especially difficult for those experiencing homelessness.
“The removal of tent encampments, often the only form of shelter available to many homeless individuals, can exasperate these challenges,” he said via emailed statement.
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He said his organization, “Asks the the community and local authorities to consider these risks and work collaboratively towards humane and effective solutions.”
He said the society would “ensure essential services remained accessible to those in need” at the new hub.
There will also be hubs opening in Saint John and Fredericton.
Last winter, the site of the hub on St. George Street was an emergency out-of-the-cold shelter run by the Humanity Project.
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