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Neighbours raise concerns about hybrid shelter at community meeting

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Residents had a chance to ask questions and raise concerns about the hybrid shelter planned for Erbs Road at a community meeting in Waterloo on Thursday night.

The site, on the border of the City of Waterloo and the Township of Wilmot, will host 50 tiny homes, each with heating, air conditioning, a bed, a desk and storage space.

The shelter will be operated by The Working Centre, with staff on site 24-7.

Chris Field, who lives next to the property said he understands the need for more shelter is and is willing to work with the operators, but as a neighbour, he’s also concerned about security and the potential for drug use.

“Honestly having the huts over there, it doesn't affect us, we have a beautiful sight this way,” he told CTV News, gesturing in the other direction. “We can look out and we have bush and all that sort of stuff. It's the inevitables. There is going to be drug use. There is going to be prostitution. There's going to be needles and crack pipes, they're going to throw them through my fence."

The Working Centre director Joe Mancini said when there are issues, having a relationship with neighbours is important.

“It’s about the neighbours talking to us, us talking to the neighbours, us talking to the people living in our community and making sure that everyone is being looked after," Mancini said.

The hybrid shelter was supposed to open early next month, but design delays are pushing the opening date back to mid to late March.

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