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Montreal Police Are Set To Evict A Group Of Unhoused People From Their 'Survival Camp'

"Many of them will be left with no alternative."

An area under the Ville-Marie expressway, where a homeless camp has since been constructed. Right: A night view of the Ville-Marie highway.

An area under the Ville-Marie expressway, where a homeless camp has since been constructed. Right: A night view of the Ville-Marie highway.

An encampment of unhoused people will be evicted by the SPVM later this week, according to local homeless advocacy centre Resilience Montreal. The "survival camp," as Resilience describes it, has been in place near the Ville-Marie Expressway for several weeks, according to a press release.

According to Resilience staff, the evictions will take place Thursday, November 10, at 10 a.m., following weeks of daily visits from the SPVM, who are said to have repeatedly told those in the survival camp that they would need to "leave imminently." The SPVM has yet to respond to MTL Blog's request for comment.

"Strongly worded" eviction notices are papered around the area, according to Resilience Montreal's executive director, David Chapman, who told MTL Blog that the homeless community there is being told to "get out now."

"There's a suggestion that there's a long list of options that people are receiving down here, but in practice," Chapman said, "they're just being told to leave."

In light of this distress, little is being done, Resilience argues. "In displacing these people," their release reads, "many of them will be left without any alternative but to sleep under more dangerous conditions."

The planned evictions are not being coupled with effective assistance or support for the unhoused people living in the survival camp, according to Chapman. Although social workers may have visited the site on some occasions, the "more complicated narrative," he says, involves people with difficulties that small, crowded shelters aren't able to provide support for, including hoarding issues and active addictions.

Without the relative safety of the encampment, many of its residents may be placed further at risk. "In 2022, forced displacement has proven to be a tactic that doesn't work," Na'kuset, co-founder and director of Development and Philanthropy at Resilience, and executive director of the Native Women's Shelter in Montreal, added in the release.

Instead, the Resilience team calls on concerned Montrealers to rally against the planned evictions and to work together to find solutions to the struggles the unhoused population experiences.

When asked what concerned Montrealers can do to help the unhoused community at the survival camp, Chapman urged people to call the Ministry of transport. "The problem is that someone up above is giving really sh*tty directions," he said. "Someone needs to reach that person [... and tell them] to come up with a real plan."

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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