Neighbours of A Better Tent City's temporary home respond to relocation
KITCHENER -- The temporary accommodations of A Better Tent City in Kitchener is getting mixed reactions from those that live nearby.
On Thursday, it was announced that the 50 residents, most who were previously homeless, would be moving to a space on Battler Road typically used for snow storage.
The temporary space was provided by the city after ABTC had to leave their original home on the Lot 42 site following the sale of the property.
They had hope to relocate to a property on Breslau, but received push back from nearby residents and was ultimately not approved.
"I'm happy that the City of Kitchener stepped up and helped us so we don't have to be out on the streets," said volunteer Nadine Green.
On Saturday, residents around the Battler Road location made a special delivery of 20 pizzas and a new fridge to the new residents.
"We had about four or five different community members donate together and then we went to a local pickup pizzeria," said resident Charlotte Middleton. "We're only a few paycheques away from sometimes being in this position ourselves."
Most items in ABTC's storage room are from the food bank and private donations.
In an email to CTV News, one nearby resident says they weren't notified of the move and that "the safety of our children, businesses, our homes, and reputation must be addressed."
The site is on the border of the ward city councilor Kelly Galloway-Sealock represents, and she says she's heard mixed reaction about the move, with some residents wanting to donate and other raising concerns.
"They hadn't been welcomed in other areas and weren't necessarily welcomed here as well," said Middleton "We wanted to make sure that us welcoming them was louder than the unwelcoming messages they might've received."
Galloway-Sealock adds that staff, organizers, and community members are working with the group to find a new site before the end of October.
"Give me, give us a chance and come by to say hello," said Green. "You might like us."