Homeless Encampment – Cobourg Tour 2023

In Editor Choice, Local

The homeless encampment situation is making more stops in Cobourg than the local transit.

The latest move by a group of encampment residents seems to be the north end of Victoria Park.

On Friday, September 8, 2023, encampment residents who had set up at the front of the former Brookside Youth Centre on King Street East were given an immediate eviction notice.

The notice stated under the Trespass to Property Act, “you are hereby given notice that you are trespassing on lands owned by His Majesty the King in right of Ontario, as presented by the Minister of Infrastructure located at 390 King Street East, Cobourg, ON – Brookside Youth Centre.”

The notice went on to state that the residents must “vacate this property with your belongings immediately.”

A short time later the two signs that had been on trees at the former youth facility were now adorning trees at the corner of McGill Street and King Street East, which is the north west end of Victoria Park.

Shortly before 8 p.m. a by-law officer along with a Cobourg Police officer approached a few individuals of the encampment.

“There’s a good number of us,” said one person to the by-law officer.

The by-law officer said, “I’m not going to stop you guys from moving here, but just to let you know as soon as you’re here, you’re going to just receive another notice to vacate.”

They would be given 48-hours to leave and if they don’t they could be subject to charges.

The by-law officer explained to one encampment resident that the municipality didn’t give the order to vacate the premises of the former Brookside Youth Centre.

Later in the evening several other tents were set-up in the same area of Victoria Park.

One volunteer with the group, Robert Horgan explained to Today’s Northumberland why he was trespassed from Northumberland County offices last week for threatening to bring fecal matter to the County building. Horgan said the it started on the day members of the encampment moved to 600 William Street.

“Neighbours started advocating for our neighbours to have a place to poop,” said Horgan.

“Because we all know that everybody needs to poop.”

After three days of trying to get a porta-pottie installed at the encampment site, Horgan went to the County building and spoke with officials.

“This is the third day. They really need to go. Since the County is responsible for waste management and is refusing to provide a porta-pottie, we will deliver it here.”

Horgan didn’t actually bring any fecal matter to the County building.

“It was under the awareness that they have literally done nothing to support a group of neighbours that just needed a place to poop.”

And for the first Friday in five months, Henley’s Arcade was clear from people gathering as a Overdose Prevention Site.

Since March 17, 2023, a group would serve upwards of 40 people from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. for a meal or harm reduction supplies.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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