Progress has been made, but there still appears to be approximately half of the items and people still at an encampment on William Street in Cobourg.
Northumberland County which owns the property issued the notice on Tuesday, September 5, 2023 to the encampment residents they had 24-hours to leave the property.
By 11 a.m. on Wednesday a number of the encampment residents were packing up and the tents were coming down.
There appeared to be a number of people from the County and other volunteers that were also helping the encampment residents.
A Community Care van helped load the belongings of some of the residents and drive them to either Transition House or Community and Social Services on Courthouse Road.
Jim Wayner who turned 62-years-old on September 2 was one of the people who had been living on Division Street, but was displaced from his home on July 28 after raw sewage was found in the basement.
Wayner was put in a hotel in Port Hope for four days, then he bought a tent with his own money and had been living in the bushes in Port Hope for another four days before he gathered up his belongings and rode his bicycle to Cobourg.
He’d been one of the encampment residents that was staying on the west beach until they received a eviction notice, then Wayner was staying at 600 William Street with approximately 20 other people – until today.
Wayner worked for several hours packing up his tent and belongings and loading it onto his bicycle before ending up on Victoria Street, on the east side of the Jack Heenan Memorial Arena.
By 5 p.m. he’d nearly completed his tent. Today’s Northumberland checked in with him shortly after 6 p.m. and Wayner had taken down the tent and was packing it up on his bicycle again.
Although he was told the arena was the new location – the by-law officer told him it was the wrong location.
Wayner said he’s happier on his own and doesn’t necessarily need the crowd of other encampment members.
“I’m not going back to that other location (William Street) – they’re on their own.”
When asked what people can do for Wayner, he immediately says, “nothing.”
“Living out here will kill me. I know that too.”
Wayner still has question where his rent money went, but he would like to have a roof over his head.
Tonight, as with many nights, Wayner is headed to a place he is all to frequent with – he will sleep on the bench outside the Market Building on Third Street which is where the by-law offices are located.
Wayner was born in London, Ontario and was headed up to Banff and has been in Cobourg since 2021.
He would have rather stayed in the hotel in Port Hope, but because he had no money and there are more resources including food at the Salvation Army he came back to Cobourg.
Wayner said the only services he mainly uses are the Salvation Army for food, but he can’t honestly answer if there are enough resources to help others.
“For some there is, for others there isn’t.”