April 28, 2021
The City of Edmonton is updating its encampment response strategy. The strategy has been updated to ensure a timely and aligned response to encampments in 2021.
The strategy includes three types of responses:
- The Encampment Response Team will continue to respond to low-risk encampments based on severity of risks such as size, location and proximity to schools and parks. This response aims to house individuals before closure of the site.
- Encampments determined to be high-risk following an investigation will be elevated to the accelerated response process for closure led by Peace Officers and the Edmonton Police Service (EPS). Individuals will be offered information on shelter and transportation options during closure of the site.
- Highest risk encampments will be escalated to a committee of administrative executives, co-chaired by the City Manager and the Edmonton Police Chief, who will determine the response.
The goal of this approach is to connect individuals to housing and support and discourage the establishment of large encampments that have negative health and safety impacts on encampment occupants and the surrounding community.
“Our shared priority is the safety of both people experiencing homelessness and the surrounding community,” said Rob Smyth, Deputy City Manager of Citizen Services. “Encampments are a symptom of a larger problem and the permanent solution to homelessness is safe, adequate and affordable housing with support.”
The 2021 encampment response strategy has been adapted to reflect key lessons learned in 2020.
In May, the City will be hosting information sessions on the plan with communities that have been most impacted by encampments. Citizens with concerns about encampments are to call 311 or report using the 311 App and share details about the location of the encampment(s).