The Kitchener camp has 24-hour security and portable toilets on site
A large encampment in Kitchener now has 24-hour security after businesses in the area raised concerns about vandalism and their own safety.
The Region of Waterloo has also installed portable toilets at the camp site at the corner of Victoria and Weber streets.
One person began living in a tent on the vacant regional property in January, but the camp expanded in March. The region has told people living there to vacate the area by the end of June. That didn’t happen and now the region is going through the courts to evict people. Trial dates have been set for November 7 and 8.
Area business owners have told CBC News how they have seen an increase in crime, such as attempted break-ins and vandalism. A business owner said a fire broke out outside her store.
Business owners also reported an increase in the number of rats, mice and insects and said there were times when they felt unsafe.
Waterloo Region Community Services Commissioner Peter Sweeney said he heard the concerns of local businesses.
“In response to ongoing concerns and incidents reported by nearby businesses and residents and to facilitate the safe provision of portable toilets on site, the region will be providing security personnel 24 hours a day, seven days a week. seven, » Sweeney said. in a statement emailed to CBC News on Thursday.
The reason portable toilets were installed at the site is because « the needs of the 100 Victoria site have changed since the original decision in April to provide after-hours toilet access », he said. declared.
“In order to ensure the health and well-being of people on site and in the surrounding area, portable toilets have been delivered to the site [Thursday] morning,” he said.
That means after-hours restroom access to St. John’s Kitchen will be cut off, he added.