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Some residents leave Soper Park encampment after being ordered to move

Some residents at a Soper Park encampment in Cambridge have started to pack up their things and leave to try and avoid facing legal action.

Residents told CTV News they received notices of trespassing from the City of Cambridge on Friday.

The notices said that they had until Wednesday before facing charges or fines for trespassing.

On Tuesday afternoon, residents said at least four people have left.

“Unfortunately, we’re still just working on getting things together. Most of the residents are still onsite. A few have been able to be relocated, but it’s not an easy or short progression for that to happen,” said Regan Sunshine Brusse, a housing and homelessness advocate.

As many of 50 people called the encampment home.

Less than one month ago, a large encampment at 150 Main St. was cleared.

“There is always a concern when encampments are being evicted that there will be police involvement and that people can be criminalized,” said Erin Dej from Unsheltered Campaign.

The City of Cambridge said the Region of Waterloo's outreach team is the lead provider of housing services and supports.

"Outreach staff and region-funded outreach partners have been engaging with individuals at the encampment in Soper Park. We continue to provide connections to community supports and shelter spaces, as available," said a statement from the Region of Waterloo.

Advocates worry the people who are leaving the encampment aren’t being offered proper places to go.

“I don’t believe that anybody is moving from that encampment into housing. If we are going to close an encampment, that should be where people are going,” said Dej.

People working to help move encampment residents said the options that have been offered by the region won’t accommodate certain people’s needs so many won’t be accepting it.

“In this situation we have a lot of people who might have an animal with them, a pet, a family member that they don’t want to be separated from,” said Brusse.

Advocates told CTV News, a U-Haul is expected to be brought in to help anyone who wants to move some of their items. Top Stories

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