WHEREAS the number of people residing in the Town of Cobourg who are unhoused or experiencing homelessness is increasing;
AND WHEREAS 78 people are officially listed as being homeless, according to Northumberland County.
AND WHEREAS 24 is the maximum number of shelter spaces available in the area.
AND WHEREAS the Town of Cobourg By-law Enforcement Team is responding to a high volume of concerns regarding encampments.
AND WHEREAS the Town of Cobourg does not have an official by-law, policy or program in place to respond to shelter encampments.
AND WHEREAS according to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, Canada has recognized that adequate housing is a fundamental human right for all.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Council direct staff to develop an Encampment Response Plan with input, collaboration and outreach support from homeless-serving partners and community members to engage folks residing in encampments and help them transition to safer and more humane accommodations.
AND FURTHER THAT an encampment site is only to be cleared once everyone has been offered safe and appropriate indoor accommodation.
AND FURTHER THAT in the event of an encampment site being cleaned up everyone’s personal belongings are stored for a period of two weeks and adequate written notice of support is provided.
AND FURTHER THAT Council call on Northumberland County Council, staff and its service providers to work with the Town of Cobourg to establish an immediate solution to increasing the supply of indoor accommodation and providing street outreach support through the implementation of an Encampment Response Plan.
AND FURTHER THAT Council direct senior staff and three members of Council to make a delegation to Northumberland County Council at their next scheduled Regular Council meeting on July 20th, 2022.
AND FURTHER THAT Council direct staff to engage with Infrastructure Ontario and MPP David Piccini to repurpose, refurbish or rebuild a small portion of the former Brookside property to explore immediate housing options in response to the local housing crisis.