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Thunder Bay seeking feedback on designated encampments

By CJ Goater Mar 21, 2024 | 6:00 AM

Thunder Bay City Hall (Adam Riley / Acadia Broadcasting)

Thunder Bay is looking into the possibility of designating encampment locations on city-owned land for people experiencing homelessness.

The city is launching a survey asking residents to provide feedback on their willingness to see designated encampments.

“Although the City is not a housing provider and does not provide direct services to those in encampments, we play a key coordinating role in our community’s response as most encampments are on City-owned lands,” said the City’s Director of Strategy & Engagement Cynthia Olsen.

In the National Housing Strategy Act, Canadian legislation recognizes housing as a human right, which has been affirmed in international law. A provincial court has also issued a decision that addressed the issue of unsheltered homelessness due to a lack of shelter space available.

The survey comes as city council approved a decision last year to use a human-rights-based approach to respond to unsheltered homelessness. Council also directed city staff to consult a variety of groups and the public on the possibility of designated or supported encampment locations.

Hard copies of the survey are available at City Hall and all branches of the Thunder Bay Public Library, and can be found online here.

There is also an opportunity to fill out the survey in person at the 55 Plus Centre on March 26 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 pm.

The survey closes April 1 at midnight.