Approach to homeless encampments

  • The municipality’s approach to homeless encampments centres on treating people experiencing homelessness in our public spaces with dignity while working to find ways to best support them within our capacity and scope as a municipality. 
  • The right to adequate housing is embedded in international law, federal legislation, and municipal strategies and frameworks. Accordingly, the municipality understands encampments to be in violation of individuals’ rights to adequate housing.
  • For these reasons, the municipality’s approach has been to allow occupants of homeless encampments to remain until adequate housing has been identified and offered, or until the health and safety of the occupants or public are at risk. 
  • This approach does not condone or support the installation of infrastructure associated with encampments and requires that steps be taken to address demonstrated risks to the health and safety of occupants or the public. 
  • The municipality's response to homeless encampments is collaborative and community-based. The municipality is the primary funding partner for the Street Outreach Navigators, through the downtown business improvement districts. The Street Outreach Navigators help ensure those experiencing homelessness have access to appropriate supports.
  • The Province of Nova Scotia, as well as community-based partners including the Street Outreach Navigators and housing support workers, continue to offer those experiencing homelessness with support – including a range of housing options and/ or temporary accommodation.