Residents of a growing homeless encampment in north Kitchener are calling on the Region of Waterloo for help addressing a lack of basic sanitation facilities at the site.

More than 30 tents now make up the improvised community at the corner of Victoria Street and Weber Street.

People who live there who spoke to CTV News say their top concern is they don’t have anywhere to use the bathroom.

“We’ve been asking for [portable toilets] for four months,” said Mark Ashley, who has been living at the encampment since December.

Right now, residents have to go to places like coffee shops or the soup kitchen across the street to relieve themselves, but often times those places are closed or have long lines.

Jessica Latour who lives in a tent at the site, said some people use a bucket, and then throw their waste in nearby garbage cans.

“We’re human beings, not animals,” she said.

Residents are calling on the region to put up porta-potties at the encampment, but so far say they haven’t gotten any help.

Mark Ashley said it’s concerning when you read about the bacteria in human waste.

“They were going to bring us gravel over a month ago – what happened to that,” Ashley said. “Do we want to live in the mud? I don’t care for it thanks. It’s not healthy when I read about it, it’s not healthy at all.”

Regional councillor Elizabeth Clarke said adding Porta-potties to the site is not that simple, as portable toilets need to be staffed 24 hours a day and have to be serviced daily.

Clarke said talks between the region and residents are ongoing. However, details on exactly how to help, still haven’t been determined.

“We are trying to find some way for people to get some sort of sanitation services that are available to them,” Clarke said. “We know that this an issue of personal dignity, as well as health and safety.”

She said the lot will eventually be redeveloped, and the encampment will have to move on by fall.

“[It’s] very frustrating, nobody seems to care,” Ashley said.