An eviction date has been set for residents of the homeless encampment on Victoria Street in downtown Kitchener.

The Region of Waterloo announced Monday people living at the site have until June 30 to leave the property, citing concerns over safety as the reason behind the eviction.

The notice, posted at the camp Monday morning, caught residents by surprise.

“They didn’t say anything to us, they didn’t mention that we were being evicted, they didn’t hand out any paperwork,” said Amanda, who lives at the site.

The region said the encampment has grown rapidly in the last few weeks and now has more than 50 tents.

“That site in particular, over the last little while, has become unsafe,” said Region of Waterloo Councillor Mike Harris. “It was at high risk and for the safety of the individuals on the encampment and for the neighbours and businesses in the surrounding area, the region has taken action to serve notice.”

Harris said the region is working with residents to help them find somewhere to go, including local shelters, but admits if they do not go to shelters it’s unclear where they will live.

“I don't know particularly the location where they will end up, we hope they will take our offer to come into the shelter system,” Harris said.

People living at the camp said they will likely not go into the shelters and are not sure what’s next for them.

Encampment residents have previously told CTV News they prefer sleeping rough to shelters for a variety of reasons, including being able to stay with pets or partners and concern for personal belongings.

“Some of us might end up moving to another site like this if possible or I know a lot of people will probably just end up camping out somewhere else,” said Jason, who lives at the site.

Many of the residents said the Victoria Street camp is not always safe, but it’s better than many of the alternatives.

“They should be able to stay here,” said Rebecca, whose family member lives at the camp. “I think they should be able to live their life here until winter time at least.”

The region said when eviction day comes, they are confident it will be done in a peaceful way.

"I trust that our regional staff and community partners and everyone involved in that site supporting those individuals will want to see a peaceful resolution,” said Harris.